Caltrans Moves to Inertial Profiler to Measure Pavement Smoothness

The State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is changing the way that they are measuring smoothness. A new standard special provision (SSP) for smoothness was posted on the Caltrans website in February. These specifications require that all paving projects use the inertial profiler for measuring pavement smoothness in lieu of the "California Profilograph." These new specifications are now appearing in individual project Special Provisions.

The new smoothness specifications require certification of both equipment and operators. So far, certifications have been performed by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) because Caltrans did not their own site for this purpose. Caltrans has recently announced the opening of their own certification site with the first certification sessions scheduled for July 24 and 25. For additional information on the new Caltrans smoothness requirements, click HERE.

Those who have an interest in getting a machine or an operator (technician) certified also are encouraged to sign-up for the certification sessions on July 24 and 25.

In numerous national surveys, pavement smoothness is consistently ranked the most important factor by the public in how they view the transportation system, and state officials and industry representatives have been engaged in a years-long effort to come up with a better way of measuring this important pavement characteristic.