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Investigation of Tire/Pavement Noise for Concrete Pavement Surfaces: Summary of Four Years of Measurements


Research Report

UC Pavement Research Center

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Suggested Citation:
Rezaei, Arash and John T. Harvey (2013) Investigation of Tire/Pavement Noise for Concrete Pavement Surfaces: Summary of Four Years of Measurements. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-13-54

The objectives of the four-year quieter concrete pavement research study presented in this report were to measure noise from tire/pavement interaction, pavement smoothness, and drainability characteristics of concrete pavement surface textures currently used on the California state highway network. This study also was undertaken to develop recommendations for safe, durable, and cost-effective concrete pavement surface textures that minimize noise from tire/pavement interaction.

The fourth and final year of this research study included testing on 60 test sections grouped by texture type as follows: 27 diamond ground (DG), 12 diamond grooved (Gr), 19 longitudinally tined (LT), 1 burlap drag (BD), and longitudinally broomed (LB). Five of the 60 test sections were continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) and the rest were jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP).

This report presents the results of measurements of tire/pavement interaction noise and of the pavement smoothness and surface drainability characteristics of concrete pavement textures commonly used for new construction finishes or pavement preservation and rehabilitation strategies. Tire/pavement interaction noise was measured using the on-board sound intensity (OBSI) method; smoothness was measured in terms of the International Roughness Index (IRI) using a wide-spot (RoLineTM) laser; pavement surface drainability was measured using outflow meter measurements as well as
in terms of Mean Profile Depth (MPD) and Mean Texture Depth (MTD).

The results indicate that the OBSI levels for the concrete pavement sections evaluated in this study ranged from 100 dBA to 112 dBA, which is the same as the range of OBSI levels for concrete pavement textures measured in other similar studies. The average OBSI levels for the three commonly used texture types in California (DG, Gr, and LT) where the textures were not worn out ranged from 104 to 107 dBA, with DG and Gr sections typically being quieter than LT sections of similar age and texture condition. For comparison, the OBSI levels for the experimental grind-and-groove sections averaged 101 dBA. The average IRI values for the DG, Gr, and LT sections across all three texture conditions (new, aged, or worn out) were 68, 81, and 96 inches/mile, respectively. The results for the outflow meter times and the MPD values indicate that diamond-grooved sections had a greater capacity for allowing water to move out from under the tire. This suggests that diamond-grooved concrete pavements would generally be more effective in reducing the risk of hydroplaning than diamond-ground or longitudinally tined concrete pavements.

UC Pavement Research Center Research Report UCPRC-RR-2013-12