Evaluation of Asphalt Base Course Construction and Acceptance Requirements

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) currently accepts asphalt base material (301 and 302) utilizing plant data, method based compaction techniques specifying roller types, weights, and coverage requirements. Reduction in staffing and observed premature base failures cause concern with these current construction process requirements. This research will evaluate the effectiveness of ODOT's current methods and investigate whether additional testing (at the mix plant, in-place, mix design, etc.) of asphalt base materials are warranted. The goal of this research is to improve ODOT's current acceptance methods, which will improve the quality of asphalt base pavement construction. The research team will review other states pavement design, mix design, and acceptance methods for asphalt base courses to identify best practices and potentially improve ODOT processes. The research team will evaluate whether ODOT's current state of practice for acceptance of asphalt base courses is adequate and provides repeatable and uniform pavement courses. If not, the research team will identify improvement opportunities for construction and acceptance procedures for asphalt base courses (Phase 1). The principle investigator (PI) will provide suggestions for modifications to ODOT's current acceptance methods to improve the quality of asphalt base pavement construction (Phase 1).