Consistently quieter concrete roads can be built without extreme alterations to currently accepted methods, according to the winners of the Best Paper award at this year's 10th International Conference on Concrete Pavements. "How to Design and Construct Quieter Concrete Pavements" is a technical overview of better practices for building quieter concrete roads – and it's freely available to the public.
"Pavement professionals recognize the durability and long-life potential of concrete pavements, but the public also demands good ride quality and quiet pavements," said International Society for Concrete Pavements President Dr. Mark B. Snyder, PE. "If you can't guarantee the quiet ride quality the public desires, that long life won't do you much good."
This paper, authored by Dr. Robert O. Rasmussen, PE; Richard C. Sohaney; Gary J. Fick; and E. Thomas Cackler, PE, will help builders consistently achieve both durability and rideability by refining conventional methods. "It's a good practical paper," said Dr. Snyder. "The average reader won't get lost in the details."
Better practices can help contractors, engineers, and state DOTs build quieter roads by improving their chosen conventional method – though one of the paper's authors, Vice President and Chief Engineer of The Transtec Group Dr. Robert O. Rasmussen, said some methods are easier to perfect than others. Still, those who have invested in a particular system likely won't need to abandon the entire process to achieve quieter roads – they can modify it.
The paper outlines fundamental characteristics of concrete texture developed under the sponsorship of the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center), and the authors identify one prevailing requirement: control. Increase control over pavement texture and other surface properties during construction, they say, and concrete pavements can be "as quiet as any other conventional pavement type" – and just as safe. With the correct procedure, concrete pavements can be constructed to be smooth, quiet, and meet durability and safety requirements.