Porous Asphalt Pavement Designs: Proactive Design for Cold Climate Use
Schaus, Lori Kathryn
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Porous asphalt pavements offer an alternative technology for stormwater management. A porous asphalt pavement differs from traditional asphalt pavement designs in that the structure permits fluids to pass freely through it, reducing or controlling the amount of run-off from the surrounding area. By allowing precipitation and run-off to flow through the structure, this pavement type functions as an additional stormwater management technique. The overall benefits of porous asphalt pavements may include both environmental and safety benefits including improved stormwater management, improved skid resistance, reduction of spray to drivers and pedestrians, as well as a potential for noise reduction. With increasing environmental awareness and an evolving paradigm shift in stormwater management techniques, this research aims to provide guidance for Canadian engineers, contractors, and government agencies on the design of porous asphalt pavement structures. One of the keys to the success of this pavement type is in the design of the asphalt mix. The air void percentage, which is ultimately related to the effectiveness of the pavement to adequately control the runoff, is a critical component of the mix. However, special consideration is required in order to obtain higher air void percentages while maintaining strength and durability within a cold climate. The objectives of this study were to evaluate several laboratory porous asphalt mix designs for durability and strength in cold climate conditions. The porous asphalt mixes consisted of a porous asphalt Superpave mix design method whereby the asphalt binder type was varied. Performance testing of the porous asphalt including draindown susceptibility, moisture-induced damage susceptibility, dynamic modulus, and permeability testing were completed. Based on the preliminary laboratory results, an optimal porous asphalt mix was recommended for use in a Canadian climate. Initial design guidelines for porous asphalt were provided based on preliminary findings and hydrological analysis.