Caltrans has been working on a pilot specification for a new technology generally referred to as "intelligent compaction." The technology is intended to help both the contractor and owner track and monitor the compaction effort that is taking place on the jobsite during placement of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA). In this manner both parties can be more assured that the proper compaction effort is being exerted in the field, which should result in the pavement meeting the level of compaction (relative density) required by the specifications. Generally, this new technology includes Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, stiffness and/or temperature measurement equipment installed on the rollers used on the project.
The Caltrans Pilot Program for Intelligent Compaction will include several projects during the 2014 construction season. They will include HMA, Cold In-Place Recycling (CIR) and Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR) material processes throughout the state. Initially, Caltrans envisioned six projects in the HMA category and six projects in the CIR/FDR category. Depending on project selection, the numbers may vary, but Caltrans says to expect about 12 projects during the 2014 construction season.
The first three projects have been identified by Caltrans and are currently out to bid. They are Contracts # 10-0X3804, # 06-0R2204 and # 09-359004. Specific project information, quantities and other bidding details can be found here.
It should be noted that these projects have been modified by Addendum to include the Intelligent Compaction Specifications and bid dates are approaching quickly. Since the specification will require modifications to existing equipment or the use of new equipment with the appropriate technology, prudent bidders need to be aware of the specific requirements prior to the bid.
Additional information on Intelligent Compaction can be found at the FHWA website. The November 2013 edition of CalAPA's "California Asphalt" magazine featured a lengthy cover story on Intelligent Compaction. Click here to view an interactive, 3-D version of the issue.