A paving crew implements real-time pavement smoothness on the DFW Connector project in Texas. NorthGate Constructors, a Kiewit-Zachry joint venture, is designing and constructing the DFW Connector.

In an effort to reduce costs, increase pavement quality, and minimize travel delays caused by road construction, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will help agencies implement a tool that allows contractors to identify concrete pavement surface irregularities during construction.

Real-time pavement smoothness has been selected for guided implementation under the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). In May, SHRP2 will begin accepting applications from state departments of transportation (DOTs) who wish to use real-time concrete pavement smoothness to speed up construction and increase quality on their projects.

SHRP2 is an committed to address growing congestion and aging infrastructure while increasing roadway and construction safety. During typical construction, contractors must wait for concrete pavement to gain adequate strength before evaluating smoothness, which can result in costly penalties and corrective grinding to meet requirements. By monitoring the smoothness of freshly placed concrete, contractors can make timely adjustments to improve operations, increase quality control, and deliver pavements faster.

Two devices measuring real-time pavement smoothness will be available for implementation assistance—the GOMACO Smoothness Indicator and the Ames Engineering Real Time Profiler. These products were selected for implementation after research and evaluation performed by pavement engineering firm The Transtec Group under SHRP2.

Principal Investigators Dr. Robert O. Rasmussen, PE; Steven M. Karamihas, MSME; and Gary J. Fick evaluated the devices for practicality and accuracy during pavement projects in Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Michigan, and New York. Access the full results of this study—including guidelines for implementation—at TRB's website.

State DOTs can apply to participate in SHRP2 to familiarize agencies and associated contractors with the selected real-time pavement smoothness devices. The program aims to provide participating agencies with about $60,000 in equipment rental, training, and technical support.

Agencies interested in participating must apply online during the application period extending from May 30 to June 27. To learn more, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/goshrp2/ImplementationAssistance.