Partnered Pavement Research Center

The Partnered Pavement Research Center (PPRC) is a multiyear contract with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). It involves the University of California Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) together with Dynatest and CSIR. The PPRC conducts research, delivers implementation projects, and provides research services, all aimed at improving pavements in California.

UC-Davis is the prime for the PPRC and subcontracts UC-Berkeley (combined they make the UCPRC). UC-Davis also subcontracts Dynatest and CSIR. These four organizations (UC-Davis, UC-Berkeley, Dynatest, and CSIR) work hard together to make the PPRC an entity at the forefront of pavement engineering research and technology. The PPRC activities are managed by the Caltrans’ Division of Research and Innovation, and the strategic research projects are approved by Caltrans’ Pavement Standard Team. UC-Davis professor John Harvey is responsible for the direct supervision of the PPRC work.

PPRC Projects

Table 1: Research Services

Title Caltrans Tech Lead PPRC Project Manager Purpose & Objectives
2.1 Development of Partnered Research Program N.Burmas J.Harvey C.Monismith N.Coetzee Develop a partnered research program1. Monitor technical literature2. Attend conferences and meetings3. Serve on technical committees4. Meet with potential partners5. Monitor/update program
2.2 Pavement Research Database N.Burmas L.Popescu Capture all data from PPRC activities into relational databases for future use1. Develop structures for new data2. Organize all data produced3. Develop improved access and analysis procedures4. Maintain library and database. Reports and HVS database
2.3 Provide Pavement Advice N.Burmas J.Harvey C.Monismith Others Distribute pavement information to Caltrans1. Participate in meetings, discussions and presentations2. Technology scanning outside California3. Technology transfer to Caltrans, contractors and others4. Advice on “corporate” or “overhead” operational issues.
2.4 Special Forensic Studies (several separate projects) Various Various 2.4.1 Longitudinal Joint Compaction2.4.2 US-395: “Pulverization” — Deep in-situ recycling (DISR)2.4.3 SR-20 (Cancelled)2.4.4 SR-138 (Moved to 4.16)

Table 2: Implementation Studies

Title Caltrans Tech Lead PPRC Project Manager Purpose & Objectives
3.1 First set of implementation studies (several separate projects) Various Various 3.1.1 Calibration of HiperPav for California Conditions
3.1.2 Evaluation of Concrete Maturity Meters
3.1.3 Use of the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) for maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction site evaluation
3.1.4 Quality Assurance Laboratory Testing for AC Long Life pavement mix designs (I-710)
3.1.5 Development of new asphalt concrete QC/QA pay factor tables
3.2 Second set of implementation studies (several separate projects) Various Various 3.2.1 Calibration Sites for Falling Weight Deflectometers (FWD), Profilers, and Skid Resistance Devices (Cancelled)
3.2.2 Evaluation of Profilers and Automated Distress Data Collection Equipment (Moved to 3.3)
3.2.3 Process for Evaluating Recycling Strategies for Pavement Materials, with first case study “Recycling of PCC Grindings Slurry” (Cancelled)
3.2.4 Development of Integrated Databases to Make Pavement Preservation Decisions (GPR Study)
3.2.5 Documentation of pavement performance data for pavement preservation strategies and evaluation of cost-effectiveness of such strategies
3.2.6 Development of Improved Patching Procedures for OGAC Overlays
3.2.7 Pilot Projects for Compaction Specifications for Aggregate Base and Aggregate Subbase/Use of the Rapid Compaction Control Device (RCCD)
3.2.8 Pilot Projects for Chip Seal Specifications based on South African Design Practice
3.2.9 Development of Guidelines for Effective Maintenance Treatment Evaluation Test Sections
3.2.10 Mix design Procedure for Asphalt Concrete Base for Rigid Pavements (Cancelled)
3.2.11 I-710 phase 2 support
3.2.12 PG Binder Asphalt Specifications
3.3 Studies to Support Implementation of Enterprise Pavement Management System (PMS) P.Vacura J.Harvey
Support Implementation of a Caltrans Pavement Management System1. Develop PMS Database 2. Evaluation of pavement structure inventory for entire road network 3. Evaluation of pavement surface condition inventory for entire road network. 4. Predictive models 5. Long-term Technology Sharing and Development
3.4 Implementation of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Rehabilitation W.Farnbach J.Signore
Implementation of findings from research goal 4.11. Develop a library of typical material properties 2. Perform case studies using CalME and MEPDG 3. Evaluate rehabilitation procedures in MEPDG 4. Perform Comparisons between MEPDG flexible module and CalME

Table 3: Research Goals

Title Caltrans Tech Lead PPRC Project Manager Purpose & Objectives
4.1 Development of the First Version of a Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and New Pavement Design Procedure for Rigid and Flexible Pavements (pre-Calibration of MEPDG) W.Farnbach V.Kannekanti
Improve Caltrans pavement performance by implementation of mechanistic design, integration of structure, materials, construction 1. Evaluate ME-PDG (bench testing of JPCP, CRCP & flexible designs) 2. Instrument and test sites for seasonal deflection curve development 3. Create climate databases 4. Develop truck traffic database from WIM 5. Develop library of typical CT materials mechanistic properties 6. Verify design systems (CalME and RadiCal) 7. Calibrate design systems (CalME, RadiCAL, & MEPDG)
4.2 Evaluation of Rigid Pavement Long-Life Pavement Rehabilitation Strategies W.Farnbach E.Kohler
Evaluate design options to increase the performance and reliability of freeway rehabilitation and reconstruction projects 1. Evaluate adequacy of structural design options with respect to joint distress, fatigue cracking, and corner cracking 2. Assess concrete durability for ASR, sulfate attack, fatigue, and strength gain 3. Measure effects of construction, mix design on durability, and structural performance
4.3 Performance of Drained & Undrained Flexible Structures Under Wet Conditions W.Farnbach J.Harvey Complete evaluation of drained vs. undrained flexible structures 1. Results from HVS testing under wet conditions 2. Measurement of flow rates and monitoring of water content changes 3. Lab testing on typical aggregate bases used by the Department 4. Development of improved constitutive relations for granular pavement materials 5. Recommendations regarding use of ATPB layer in flexible pavements
4.4 Development of Asphalt Concrete Rutting Performance Tests and Analysis Procedures T.Bressette J.Signore
Develop improved AC models, use to improve mix design and test methods 1. Finalize work on constitutive relation for AC at elevated temperatures 2. Develop procedure for analysis of test data to predict AC rutting performance 3. Goal 9 Specimens (linked with 4.10) 4. Determine relation between specimen size, sample size, and test variability for AC at high temperatures (RVE-128 cores) 5. Develop prototype device based upon simple shear tester
4.5 Calibration of Mechanistic-Empirical Design Models W.Farnbach J.Harvey 1. Evaluate the Department’s Pavement Management System (PMS) data for models for various distresses 2. Evaluate Arizona & Washington State DOT PMS databases for compatibility with the Department’s database and for models 3. List all known field test sections in the State and organize with respect to different pavement deterioration issues 4. Lab testing of material samples 5. Calibrate empirical-mechanistic models for key distresses using lab and field performance data and data from the PMS
4.6 Development of Rehabilitation Construction Productivity Analysis Products C.Suszko EB.Lee Portion A. Develop tools that will permit reduction of construction duration and cost and traffic delay through better planning, design & specifications Portion B. Develop work zone traffic estimation models
4.7 Verification of Asphalt Concrete Long-Life Pavement Strategies W.Farnbach J.Harvey
Develop performance estimates for Long Life AC Strategies Lab tests, Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS) tests, and analysis for: 1. crack, seat, and overlay, include reflective cracking and rutting study 2. full depth reconstruction.
4.8 Dowel Bar Retrofit of Rigid Pavements W.Farnbach, METS rigid E.Kohler Evaluate the Dowel Bar Retrofit Strategy and best options for its implementation 1. Field Accelerated Pavement Testing with the HVS; to collect full scale data quickly, although with heavier loads than normally occur under real traffic. Includes measurement of LTE and other pavement properties with the FWD. 2. Field Live Traffic Testing. Approx. 2 years. 3. Laboratory testing of materials. Permits evaluation of additional variables that can’t be included in HVS testing. Also used to characterize materials used in HVS test sections. 4. Modeling i. Finite element analysis of doweled concrete pavement joint: allows for performance prediction of other options without testing; permits extrapolation of HVS results. ii. Compilation of performance data from existing DBR projects throughout the USA: allows for calibration of HVS and analysis results to field project results. iii. Life-Cycle-Cost-Analyses
4.9 Investigation of Asphalt Concrete Moisture Damage T.Bressette J.Signore Evaluate the extent and causes and risk of AC moisture damage in California and investigate measures to mitigate risk. 1. Statewide field investigation – Collection of field samples – cores. State-wide field investigation of extent, contributing factors, develop risk matrix. Develop moisture damage identification tools 2. Permeability measurement in field 3. Laboratory investigation of risks and mitigation measures – Percentage of stripped area, moisture content, Rice, BSG, HWTD, TSR 4. Reporting – Production of a final report – Analysis of risk factors; extent; lab test evaluation, recommend mitigation 5. Review by Caltrans and formal in-person presentation to Caltrans
4.10 Development of Improved Rehabilitation Designs for Reflection Cracking T.Bressette
D.Jones Investigate mechanisms of reflection cracking, develop improved methods of design 1. Construct a uniform test road with six experimental sections using conventional Caltrans design and fail the sections by fatigue cracking with the HFS. One failed, six sections will be overlaid with DGAC, AR-G and MB 2. Compare the performance of the overlays under HVS trafficking and controlled conditions. 3. Analyze the effect of the overlay thickness on the performance of the MB overlays 4. Validate existing deflection-based Caltrans thickness design procedures for DGAC and AR-G with respect to reflective cracking and rutting. 5. Quantify the effective elastic moduli of the various pavement layers. 6. Determine the failure mechanisms at moderate temperatures. 7. Determine the permanent deformation behavior in all the layers at moderate temperatures. 8. Evaluate the influence of binder properties on the laboratory fatigue and field reflective cracking performance. 9. Evaluate the rutting performance of the overlaid test pavements in terms of short and long term performance 10. Prepare recommendation on the use of MB overlays for Caltrans.
4.11 Evaluation of Hydraulic Cement Concrete Mix Design for Pavements (Cancelled)
4.12 Development of Mix and Structural Design and Construction Guidelines for Deep In-Situ Recycling (DISR) of Cracked Asphalt Concrete as Stabilized or Unstabilized Bases T.Bressette D.Jones
Evaluate DISR Foamed Asphalt, develop improved mix design and structural design practice Revised workplan accepted by PST 11/22/05. HVS testing still to be decided 1. Literature survey 2. Mechanistic sensitivity analysis 3. Assessment of constructed projects (including HVS test on SR89) 4. Assessment of planned projects (potentially also HVS testing) 5. Laboratory testing 6. Project selection guidelines 7. Structural design recommendations 8. Construction recommendations
4.13 Validation of Asphalt Concrete QC/QA Pay Factors (Cancelled)
4.14 A Framework for Implementing Innovative Contracting Methods For Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation/Reconstruction C.Suszko
EB.Lee Portion A1. Analysis framework to help determine optimal contracting methods for specific projects; evaluate impacts of implementation; determine best practices for warranty method 2. Evaluation of implementation issues by using analysis framework on case studies 3. Software program or other tool implementing analysis framework 4. Case Study: Evaluate warranties for asphalt rubber chip seal project in Dist 11Portion B Develop guidelines towards effective use of schedule based I/D provisions and devise decision supporting computer model that determines the most economic I/D dollar amounts & optimal contract completion times. 1. Gather and summarize information through extensive review of pertinent literature review 2. Compare projects with conventional contracting projects 3. Evaluate effectiveness of schedule-based I/D provisions 4. Develop a computer model
4.15 Development of Integrated Pavement Strategy Decision Support System (incl. Life Cycle Cost Analysis) W.Farnbach EB.Lee 1. Develop project-level analysis system that models and optimizes a pavement rehabilitation/reconstruction project’s life cycle cash flow and financing (i.) to develop a decision-supporting tool or guidelines that can help determine ranges of appropriate inputs for a project-level life-cycle cost analysis using FHWA RealCost; (ii.) to provide a training tool and/or trainings for the project-level life-cycle cost analysis; and (iii.) to estimate cost overrun for long life projects based on cost data from several current projects. 2. Analysis framework that can help determine the optimal investment stream at the corridor and network level, maximizing total net benefits under budgetary constraints. (i.) Multi-year investment analysis procedure that determines the proper allocation of funding among programs for roadway preservation. (ii.) Develop a prototype working model based on CT data and practice 3. Re-analyze long-life pavement criteria
4.16 Investigation of Improved Open Graded Mix Designs (incl. Quiet Pavement-AC) W.Farnbach E.Kohler Develop open-graded mix designs with improved durability and long-lasting permeability and noise absorption performance. Results will be achieved through a combination of field and laboratory measurements of sound, friction, permeability, and condition over time, studying appropriate changes. 1. Literature Survey: Survey practice and research in other states and Europe on the lifetime performance of their open-graded mix types with respect to sound, intensity, durability, friction, and permeability. 2. PPRC Testing Capability: Develop capability to measure field sound intensity, lab noise, impedance and field surface friction. 3. Create Database Structure for data collected in research. 4. Field Data collection a. Field Sections in California- Data collected on surfaces, test measurements and trends over time. b. Field and Lab Data Outside California- Data on mixes and report on trends with data summarized annually. c. Data into Database- Database will eventually be populated with lifetime performance trends to identify best practice for CA open graded and rubberized mixes will be completed. 5. Performance Trends and Statistical Analysis: Summarize information on laboratory tests that correlate with pavement performance from the standpoint of noise and permeability, and gather information on mix design methods, identifying best practices that can potentially be brought to CA. 6. Two-Year Summary Repor
4.17 HVS testing pre-cast PCC panels in District 8 N.Burmas E.Kohler HVS test of pre-cast panels in District 8 1. Prepare test plan 2. Short-term, high load test 3. Long-term crack test ( section 1 dry, wet + section 2 dry, wet + forensic) 4. Comprehensive analysis and reporting
4.18 Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) Performance Under Heavy Vehicle Simulator Loading T.Bressette D.Jones Determine whether the addition of additives to reduce the production and construction temperatures of asphalt concrete influences performance 1. Prepare workplan (preliminary planning was done under SPE 2.3 of the PPRC Strategic Plan) 2. Monitor construction of HVS test track 3. Sample mix and mix components 4. HVS testing to assess rutting, moisture sensitivity, and fatigue performance 5. Traffic in-service sections to assess early-opening performance 6. Lab tests to identify comparable laboratory performance measures
4.19 Third Year Field Evaluation of Tire/Pavement Noise on Flexible Pavements W.Farnbach E.Kohler The goal is to recognize flexible pavement types that are the most durable, smooth, and quiet 1. Perform third year of noise, smoothness, and condition survey monitoring of sections from project 4.16. 2. Conduct noise, smoothness, and condition survey monitoring on new field sections 3. Develop pavement temperature correction for OBSI data and upgrades to the instrumented noise car 4. Analyze results, model where applicable 5. Develop preliminary table of expected lives for flexible pavement surfaces