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Talk:Pavement Surface Characteristics

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This publication is for anyone concerned about pavement surface characteristics. It is both a synthesis of existing technology and a guide for decision-making.

To compile this resource, the author, Mark Snyder, gathered information from around the world, synthesizing volumes of research reports, field and laboratory studies, statistical data, and other technical information. In presenting this compilation, we offer an unprecedented depth and breadth of information about the broad spectrum of pavement surface characteristics, their importance, and how those features relate to one another.

Why are surface characteristics so important? In any discussion about surface characteristics, safety is clearly the most important aspect to road users. But emerging issues are also linked to surface characteristics, with examples being tire-pavement noise, vehicle wear, ride quality, fuel efficiency, and more.

In the past, pavement engineers focused mainly on imparting skid resistance to concrete pavements, so texturing for safety became the single focal point. Among the host of other related issues that have come to the forefront, tire-pavement noise is currently a primary consideration for many agencies. Few would argue, however, that it should be the defining issue for specifying a quality pavement system, particularly when issues such as safety, cost and structural durability must always be considered.

A new age of concrete pavement surface characteristics is dawning. It will be marked by a paradigm shift away from single issues and toward optimizing pavement surfaces, which is to say striking the right balance of desired properties.

This revolution will require a commitment to achieving better texturing consistency during construction, which, in turn, must be backed by education and training. That means more than just relegating the responsibility to a machine operator and an inspector; it means involving everyone whose decisions or actions affect the pavement surface. We envision that this revolution in surface texturing also will require automated equipment and better process controls to reduce texturing variability.

“Pavement Surface Characteristics: A Synthesis and Guide” is not the final word in the evolution of pavement surface characteristics. It is a comprehensive resource that represents the best “point-in-time” information available and presents the concrete pavement industry’s perspectives on the rapidly changing technology.

Gerald F. Voigt, PE President & CEO American Concrete Pavement Association