Safe, Quiet and Durable Pavement Surfaces
Ahammed, Mohammad Alauddin
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Skidding contributes to up to 35% of wet pavement accidents. Pavement surface friction therefore is an important component of highway safety. The skid resistance also varies seasonally and reduces over time due to surface polishing. These leave the pavement in a state of increased risk of skidding accidents. An adequate surface friction that accommodates the seasonal and long term variations is essential for safety over the pavement surface service life. The resistance to skidding, however, depends on surface microtexture and macrotexture. Alternatively, increased texture aimed at increased and durable surface friction may affect the noise generated on the road. In fact, traffic noise is a growing problem throughout the world. Noise barriers, traditionally used for noise reduction, are expensive and inefficient in some cases. As the pavement surface characteristics play a key role in noise generation and propagation, it provides a window for noise reduction by altering the pavement surface. The challenge, however, is to provide a smooth, quiet, long-lasting, and economic pavement with adequate and durable surface friction. This research has been directed to address this challenge and to provide a realistic guideline. The tire-pavement noise, sound absorption, and skid resistance performances of various flexible and rigid pavement surfaces have been examined using the field and laboratory test data. Models for the prediction of pavement skid resistance including the seasonal and long term variations have also been developed correlating the influencing factors. A value engineering approach has been proposed to accommodate the construction and maintenance costs, longevity, smoothness, safety and noise in the selection of pavement surfaces.