Constructing High Performance Asphalt Pavements by Improving In-Place Pavement Density

Asphalt concrete fatigue cracking has been accepted to be a major distress mode in Oregon. ODOT's Pavement Management System has shown that asphalt mixes placed in the last 20 years have had a tendency to develop premature cracking after 6 to 8 years of service before reaching the structural design life of 15 years. ODOT research project SPR 785 (Coleri et al. 2017) showed that a 2% reduction in air-void content (increasing density by 2% during construction) increases the cracking resistance of asphalt mixes by 1.5 to 2 times. For this reason, producing asphalt mixtures that are easy to compact and utilizing intelligent compaction technologies and/or changes to the density test procedures and specifications that are currently being implemented in Oregon can potentially create a significant improvement in the cracking resistance of asphalt mixtures. Since the impact of high density on reducing asphalt aging (results in top-down cracking which is the major distress mode in Oregon) and moisture sensitivity (which is also a critical factor controlling pavement performance in Oregon) was not investigated in SPR785, improving asphalt compaction and increasing in-place density during construction is expected to result in a cracking performance improvement significantly higher than the benefits reported in the published SPR 785 ODOT research report. In addition, several other recent research studies (Fisher et al., 2010; Tran et al., 2016) showed that increasing asphalt concrete pavement density by modifying mix design methods, using fibers in asphalt mixes, and following better construction practices can lead to significant performance improvements and cost savings (also given in SPR 785-Literature review section). Tran et al. (2016) concluded that a 1% decrease in air voids can create 33.8% and 66.3% improvement in the long-term fatigue cracking and rutting performance of asphalt pavements, respectively. However, suggesting an increase in density without providing guidelines on how to achieve them can result in a negative impact on asphalt mix durability. For instance, increasing mix density by using excessive amounts of fillers and asphalt binder can result in long-term durability and stability issues. Thus, current mix design procedures and mix compaction processes should be improved to produce high density and high performance asphalt mixes during construction without creating a detriment to the overall performance of the pavement.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $175000
    • Contract Numbers:

      SPR 826

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Federal Highway Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Oregon Department of Transportation

      555 13th Street NE
      Salem, OR  United States  97301
    • Project Managers:

      Shippen, Norris

    • Performing Organizations:

      Oregon State University, Corvallis

      101 Kearney Hall
      Corvallis, OR  United States  97331
    • Principal Investigators:

      Coleri, Erdem

    • Start Date: 20181231
    • Expected Completion Date: 20201130
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Transportation, Planning, Research, and Development

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01688095
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Oregon Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: SPR 826
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Dec 12 2018 5:22PM