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)

  • Advances in Highway and Airfield Pavement Research. In August 2017, UCPRC staff attending the ASCE International Conference on Highway Pavements & Airfield Technology in Philadelphia delivered eight presentations on a variety of highway and airfield topics, as well as a short course on environmental product declarations (EPD). The four conference themes focused the discussions of the more than 300 national and international experts from academia and industry on design and construction, materials, airfield and safety, and innovations and sustainability. A variety of presentations addressed the current and critical challenges affecting airfield and highway performance, pavement sustainability, and airfield safety. More information about the conference can be found at www.pavementsconference.org. Posted 9/19/2017.
  • A Vision for the Future of the Pavement Enterprise. John Harvey, professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the UC Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) presented the Rasmus S. Nordal keynote address to more than 400 delegates at the 10th Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields in Athens, Greece, on June 28, 2017. Titled “Imposed vs. Chosen Change: A vision for the Future of the Pavement Enterprise,” the lecture looked at whether “stationarity”—the idea that the needs of future design can be based on past needs—applies to the future of pavement. The lecture reviewed expected changes in the demand for pavement for personal mobility and freight, the effects of projected vehicle technology changes on pavement, increased expectations and functional requirements that pavements will need to meet, and recommended changes in the academic and government sectors of the pavement enterprise to meet future demands and expectations. The presentation is downloadable here. Posted 7/7/2017.
  • Local Government Pavement Research. Local governments bear responsibility for 80% of the roadway pavement lane-miles in California, which carry 45% of the vehicle miles traveled. However, these governments face a growing backlog of projects, and need new approaches to reduce the costs of preservation, maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction. They also need help improving their staff’s knowledge of the most cost-efficient and lowest environmental impact approaches to those tasks, and they need it delivered in ways that meet their needs. Currently, California does not have a well-organized systematic approach for delivering this technical content to local governments, but several other states do. The UCPRC recently helped complete a white paper that canvased other states to develop a summary of best practices and gaps in other states’ approaches for delivering technical pavement management content to local governments, and recommends an approach for California. The white paper is downloadable here. Posted 5/31/2017.
  • Pavement Life-Cycle Assessment Symposium. In April, the Pavement Life-Cycle Assessment Symposium 2017 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign brought together more than 130 national and international experts from academia and industry, including researchers from the UCPRC. Discussions focused on implementing LCA for pavements globally, the current state of LCA implementation at project- and network levels, development of programs for Environmental Product Declarations, future plans and needs for pavement LCA, and more. Information and presentations are available at http://lcasymposium.ict.illinois.edu/program/. Posted 5/31/2017.
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Fall 2017 UCPRC Activities

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Candidate for fully permeable shoulder retrofit validation site

Updating the Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) Spectra of the California Highway Network. Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) devices measure and record the axle loads of vehicles on the highway. The data they collect include axle loads and spacing, vehicle classification and gross weights, and travel speed. These WIM data are utilized for pavement design, pavement management, and performance studies (Figure 1). In 2016, there were 132 WIM devices operating on California’s highway network, which is one of the densest and best maintained networks in the country.

The UCPRC has been working with Caltran’s WIM data since 2007 to advance mechanistic-empirical (ME) pavement design procedures. A UCPRC analysis of WIM data completed in 2008 used measurements from 1998 to 2003 to look for similarities in axle load distributions at a number of WIM sites and grouped them to generate default traffic inputs for pavement design software. In 2017, the UCPRC processed WIM data collected from 80 California WIM-measuring sites from 2004 to 2015, identified the axle load distribution for each site, and updated the earlier groupings using logical cluster analysis. A decision tree was developed to classify WIM data into five WIM axle load spectra, which have been implemented in the Caltrans pavement management system database, PaveM, and to generate truck traffic inputs in the CalME and MEPDG pavement design software tools used by Caltrans for asphalt and concrete pavement design, respectively.


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.