Dedicated to providing knowledge, the Pavement Research Center uses innovative
research and sound engineering
principles to improve pavement structures, materials, and technologies.

NEWS (Previous News Items)

  • The UCPRC made podium and poster presentations at the 2015 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting held in Washington, DC on January 11-15, 2015. The presentations covered work sponsored primarily by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Posted 1/29/2015.
  • In January 2015, UCPRC published the fourth and final report based on the Freight-Truck-Pavement interaction pilot study. This logistics augmentation aspect of the study was conducted to examine the ways that public and private sector decision makers approach issues related to road-freight transport in California and to show how direct consultation between the two sectors might align their interests more closely. This project included desktop studies, qualitative analysis, and case studies. Among its other findings, the study concluded that road infrastructure and regulation have a marked impact on the state’s critical supply chain operations and strategies, and that the state may benefit when Caltrans and the private sector engage in the planning and construction of road infrastructure as well in the drafting and implementation of policy. Posted 1/26/2015.
  • Just published on the UCPRC website are the results from the final tasks (Tasks 9 to 11) of a three-phase pilot study (Tasks 1 to 6 and Tasks 7 and 8) undertaken for Caltrans demonstrating the potential economic and other effects of changes in vehicle-pavement interaction caused by varying surface roughness, which can increase from road maintenance delays and pavement management decisions. Undertaken in collaboration with the University of Pretoria and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, the study used state-of-the-art tools to simulate and measure the peak loads and vertical acceleration of trucks and their freight on a selected range of pavement surface profiles on the state highway system. The study’s aim is to enable Caltrans to better manage the risks of decisions regarding freight and the management and preservation of the pavement network by quantifying the results in economic terms and other effects. Posted 12/16/2014.
  • In September 2014, the UCPRC published the report “Improved Methodology for Mix Design of Open-Graded Friction Courses”. This study presents an improved methodology for the mix designs of open-graded friction courses (OGFC). The methodology has been enhanced by the development of an Excel macro in order to suggest revisions to California Test 368, Standard Method for Determining Optimum Binder Content (OBC) for Open-Graded Asphalt Concrete. In addition to the development of the Excel macro, one of the primary objectives of this study was to evaluate the effect that fines content has on mix performance, which cannot be identified by the “break point sieve” concept or by volumetric properties. Posted 9/30/2014.
  • The Inertial Profiler Certification Program is up and running. Six certifications have been performed since July 2013. The program, which is intended to ensure that qualified operators and profilers perform pavement QA testing, has certified 25 operators and 18 inertial profilers to date. Follow the links to see the lists of Certified Operators and Profilers. Posted 7/22/2014.
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Winter 2015 UCPRC Activities

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Candidate for fully permeable shoulder retrofit validation site

UCPRC and Caltrans Following Up Study on Pavement Texture and Roughness and Bicycle Ride Quality. Applying the lessons learned from its first study of how pavement texture and roughness affect bicycle ride quality, the UCPRC will conduct a follow-on study with an expanded research scope and a shifted focus. This study will build on the first study’s findings about rural routes and long-distance road riders by investigating urban/suburban pavement surfaces and commuter bicyclists. The study will also include a more diverse set of participants and broader selection of test section types than were used in the initial study. The new study will also focus on more closely tying preservation and maintenance treatment materials specifications to bicycle ride quality.

This changed approach will allow Caltrans and local governments to address a greater number of stakeholders and improve the riding experience on a broader range of bicycle networks.

The earlier study, completed in spring 2014, primarily focused on the effects that preservation treatments used on state highways had on bicycle ride quality. Data for the study were gathered by volunteer riders from California long-distance road cycling clubs, some using instrumented bicycles. Based on the results of the study, UCPRC was able to quantitatively correlate participant feedback with texture measurements. Testing in the first study included:

  • Laser Texture Scanner measurements
  • Pavement surface profiling using a High-Speed Profiler Vehicle with Profiling Equipment
  • Collection of accelerometer data from bicycles (to measure vibration)

The research over the next 18 months will include more bicycle-specific roadways (bike paths and bike lanes) and state highways, as well as a broader range of bicycle types (commuter and recreational street type). More information about the upcoming study and the findings of the completed UCPRC/Caltrans study will be presented in three different sessions at the upcoming Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.:

  • Measurement of Pavement Treatment Macrotexture and Its Effect on Bicycle Ride Quality (15-0080), Session 443: Pavement Surface Characteristics. Monday, January 12, 2015, 4:15 PM to 6:00 PM.
  • Modeling the Impact of Pavement Roughness on Bicycle Ride Quality (15-3542), Session 742: Pavement Macrotexture, Roughness and Roughness-iInduced Issues. Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
  • Bicycle Vibration and Pavement Ride Quality for Cyclists (15-4672), Session 849: Bicycle Transportation, Part 2: Safety and Infrastructure (Part 1, Session 477). Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 2:45 PM to 4:30 PM.

Important Note for Caltrans Users: Prior to scheduling pavement preservation (preventive maintenance or CAPM) or roadway rehabilitation work on flexible pavement highway sections, the District Materials Engineer and/or the Project Manager should review this spreadsheet to ensure that the proposed project does not include sections active in the “Quieter Pavement Research” (QPR) testing program. If the proposed project is within a QPR test section, please contact Linus Motumah of the Caltrans Office of Pavement Design before scheduling the work.

To view maps that show where the sections are located, click the following link: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://www.ucprc.ucdavis.edu/qpsectionsmap.kmz (or copy-and-paste it into a new browser window for a slightly larger view).

For more information, contact John Harvey of the UCPRC or Linus Motumah.