Accelerated Performance Testing on the 2024 NCAT Pavement Test Track with MnROAD Research Partnership

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General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(531)
Former Study Number: TPF-5(469)
Lead Organization: Alabama Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: May 16, 2024
Solicitation Number: 1601
Partners: AL, FL, GADOT, KY, MO, MS, NC, NY, OK, SC, TX, VA, WV
Status: Cleared by FHWA
Est. Completion Date: Nov 16, 2027
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: May 16, 2024
Contract End Date:
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Suggested Contribution:
Total Commitments Received: $10,500,001.00
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Kidada Dixon
dixonk@dot.state.al.us
Phone: 334.353.6940
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): Derek Nener-Plante
derek.nenerplante@dot.gov
Phone: 202-763-4017
Study Champion(s): Scott George
georges@dot.state.al.us
Phone: 334-206-2308
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name
Alabama Department of Transportation 2024 $1,700,000.00 Kidada Dixon Andre Jenkins
Florida Department of Transportation $0.00
Georgia Department of Transportation 2024 $333,333.00 Peter Wu Brennan Roney
Georgia Department of Transportation 2025 $333,333.00 Peter Wu Brennan Roney
Georgia Department of Transportation 2026 $333,334.00 Peter Wu Brennan Roney
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2024 $83,333.00 Greg Garner Jarrod Stanley
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2025 $83,333.00 Greg Garner Jarrod Stanley
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2026 $83,333.00 Greg Garner Jarrod Stanley
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2024 $416,667.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2025 $416,667.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2026 $416,667.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance
Missouri Department of Transportation 2024 $100,000.00 Jacob Graessle Jennifer Harper
Missouri Department of Transportation 2025 $100,000.00 Jacob Graessle Jennifer Harper
Missouri Department of Transportation 2026 $100,000.00 Jacob Graessle Jennifer Harper
New York State Department of Transportation 2024 $100,000.00 Thomas Kane Gail Carpenter
New York State Department of Transportation 2025 $100,000.00 Thomas Kane Gail Carpenter
New York State Department of Transportation 2026 $100,000.00 Thomas Kane Gail Carpenter
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $250,000.00 Andrew Wargo Curtis Bradley
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2026 $250,000.00 Andrew Wargo Curtis Bradley
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2027 $250,000.00 Andrew Wargo Curtis Bradley
Oklahoma Transportation 2024 $450,000.00 David Vivanco Ron Curb
Oklahoma Transportation 2025 $450,000.00 David Vivanco Ron Curb
Oklahoma Transportation 2026 $450,000.00 David Vivanco Ron Curb
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2024 $350,000.00 Merrill Zwanka Terry Swygert
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $350,000.00 Merrill Zwanka Terry Swygert
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2026 $350,000.00 Merrill Zwanka Terry Swygert
Texas Department of Transportation 2024 $266,667.00 Travis Patton Ned Mattila
Texas Department of Transportation 2025 $266,667.00 Travis Patton Ned Mattila
Texas Department of Transportation 2026 $266,666.00 Travis Patton Ned Mattila
Virginia Department of Transportation 2024 $416,667.00 Brian Diefenderfer Bill Kelsh
Virginia Department of Transportation 2025 $416,667.00 Brian Diefenderfer Bill Kelsh
Virginia Department of Transportation 2026 $416,667.00 Brian Diefenderfer Bill Kelsh
West Virginia Department of Transportation 2024 $166,667.00 Perry McCutcheon Perry McCutcheon
West Virginia Department of Transportation 2025 $166,667.00 Perry McCutcheon Perry McCutcheon
West Virginia Department of Transportation 2026 $166,666.00 Perry McCutcheon Perry McCutcheon

Study Description

The NCAT Pavement Test Track was originally constructed as a result of interest and support from state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) who shared a concern for building and preserving safe, sustainable, resilient, and cost-effective pavement infrastructure.  Track research operations began in the summer of 2000.   Forty-six 200-ft test sections were subjected to 10 million equivalent single axle loadings (ESALs) of heavy truck traffic through December of 2002.   Test sections were rebuilt in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2021 with 10 million ESALs applied within each 3-year research cycle.  NCAT began formally partnering with the Minnesota Road Research Project (MnROAD) in 2015 to execute nationally relevant research in both mix performance testing and pavement preservation.  Positive experiences with implementable findings that reduce the life cycle cost of flexible pavements and facilitate rapid deployment of sustainable technologies have made this research an outstanding investment for numerous state DOTs, who pool their resources to share the cost of construction, operations, and research in a cooperative manner.  The summer 2024 rebuild is the starting point for the nineth research cycle, with many high reward research options available for potential sponsors.  NCAT is again partnering with MnROAD in the 2024 research cycle to execute a pavement performance experiment with nationwide implementation impact.

Objectives

The primary objectives of the pooled fund project described herein will be:

  1. Constructing, maintaining, and/or rebuilding experimental pavements on the existing 1.7-mile NCAT test oval and the MnROAD mainline bypass that are representative of in-service roadways on the open transportation infrastructure;
  2. Applying accelerated performance truck traffic after construction for the duration of the 3-year research cycle;
  3. Assessing/comparing the functional and structural field performance of trafficked sections on a regular basis via surface and subsurface measures;
  4. Validating/calibrating new and existing methodologies for analysis and design using pavement surface condition, pavement load response, precise traffic and environmental logging, and cumulative damage;
  5. Correlating field results with laboratory data for both mix and structural performance; and
  6. Answering practical questions posed by research sponsors through formal (i.e., reports and technical papers) and informal (e.g., one-on-one responses to sponsor inquiries) technology transfer.  For example, can pavement thickness be reduced as a result of the addition of mix additives, and if so does the thickness reduction offset any additional cost of construction?  

Scope of Work

The scope of work for the pooled fund project will include:

  1. Hauling materials to the project from offsite locations.  Material donations are typically secured by state sponsors, while reasonable hauling expenses are handled by the pooled fund;
  2. Rebuilding sections in accordance with sponsors’ directives via competitively bid subcontracts administered by NCAT.  It is anticipated that aggregate hauling, liquid asphalt supply and delivery, rental of select construction equipment, plant production, and mix placement may all be procured via competitively bid subcontracts;
  3. Installing both environmental (i.e., multi-depth pavement temperature probes) and/or response instrumentation (i.e., high speed stress and strain gages) in experimental sections;
  4. Operating a 5-truck heavy triple-trailer fleet in order to apply accelerated truck traffic on the NCAT test oval following the completion of construction.  Human drivers operate NCAT vehicles in order to best induce representative vehicle wander, but it is expected that autonomous vehicles will be implemented in the future.  Diverted interstate traffic is used to load test sections at MnROAD;
  5. Safely measuring field performance (e.g., rutting, roughness, texture, cracking, deflection, friction, etc.) on a regular basis when traffic is suspended/bypassed to fully document changes in surface condition as a function of traffic and temperature.  High-speed pavement response is also measured on a routine basis;
  6. Conducting laboratory testing to quantify basic material and mix performance properties, which will serve as the basis of performance model development; and
  7. Comparing predicted and measured pavement response as well as predicted and measured cumulative pavement damage in order to validate then calibrate prevailing analysis and design methodologies.

Comments

This project is expected to be eligible for 100% SP&R funding.  Each sponsor participating in the study is asked to contribute funding as a function of the scope of their selected research.  

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
Letter of Direction for ALDOT RP 931-943P/TPF-5(531) Ltr of Direction_TPF-5(531)_ALDOT 931-943P.pdf Report Public
Solicitation No. 1601 ALDOT Waiver Request Solicitation No. 1601_(NFM) ALDOT Waiver Request Ltr.pdf Other Public
TPF-5(531) ALDOT Acceptance Letter TPF-5(531)_ALDOT Acceptance Letter.pdf Other Public
Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
Approved Matched Waiver Memorandum Match Waiver Approval Memorandum #1601.pdf Memorandum Public
Match Waiver Request #1601 Solicitation No. 1601_(NFM) ALDOT Waiver Request Ltr.pdf Other Public

Accelerated Performance Testing on the 2024 NCAT Pavement Test Track with MnROAD Research Partnership

General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(531)
Lead Organization: Alabama Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: May 16, 2024
Solicitation Number: 1601
Partners: AL, FL, GADOT, KY, MO, MS, NC, NY, OK, SC, TX, VA, WV
Status: Cleared by FHWA
Est. Completion Date: Nov 16, 2027
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: May 16, 2024
Contract End Date:
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Total Commitments Received: $10,500,001.00
100% SP&R Approval:
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Kidada Dixon
dixonk@dot.state.al.us
Phone: 334.353.6940
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): Derek Nener-Plante
derek.nenerplante@dot.gov
Phone: 202-763-4017
Commitments by Organizations
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Alabama Department of Transportation 2024 $1,700,000.00 Kidada Dixon Andre Jenkins (334)353-6944 jenkinsa@dot.state.al.us
Georgia Department of Transportation 2024 $333,333.00 Peter Wu Brennan Roney 404-347-0595 broney@dot.ga.gov
Georgia Department of Transportation 2025 $333,333.00 Peter Wu Brennan Roney 404-347-0595 broney@dot.ga.gov
Georgia Department of Transportation 2026 $333,334.00 Peter Wu Brennan Roney 404-347-0595 broney@dot.ga.gov
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2024 $83,333.00 Greg Garner Jarrod Stanley (502) 782-4090 jarrod.stanley@ky.gov
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2025 $83,333.00 Greg Garner Jarrod Stanley (502) 782-4090 jarrod.stanley@ky.gov
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 2026 $83,333.00 Greg Garner Jarrod Stanley (502) 782-4090 jarrod.stanley@ky.gov
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2024 $416,667.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance RVance@mdot.ms.gov
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2025 $416,667.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance RVance@mdot.ms.gov
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2026 $416,667.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance RVance@mdot.ms.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2024 $100,000.00 Jacob Graessle Jennifer Harper 573-526-3636 Jennifer.Harper@modot.mo.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2025 $100,000.00 Jacob Graessle Jennifer Harper 573-526-3636 Jennifer.Harper@modot.mo.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2026 $100,000.00 Jacob Graessle Jennifer Harper 573-526-3636 Jennifer.Harper@modot.mo.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2024 $100,000.00 Thomas Kane Gail Carpenter 518-457-8083 Gail.Carpenter@dot.ny.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2025 $100,000.00 Thomas Kane Gail Carpenter 518-457-8083 Gail.Carpenter@dot.ny.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2026 $100,000.00 Thomas Kane Gail Carpenter 518-457-8083 Gail.Carpenter@dot.ny.gov
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $250,000.00 Andrew Wargo Curtis Bradley 919-707-6661 cbradley8@ncdot.gov
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2026 $250,000.00 Andrew Wargo Curtis Bradley 919-707-6661 cbradley8@ncdot.gov
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2027 $250,000.00 Andrew Wargo Curtis Bradley 919-707-6661 cbradley8@ncdot.gov
Oklahoma Transportation 2024 $450,000.00 David Vivanco Ron Curb (405)414-7740 rcurb@odot.org
Oklahoma Transportation 2025 $450,000.00 David Vivanco Ron Curb (405)414-7740 rcurb@odot.org
Oklahoma Transportation 2026 $450,000.00 David Vivanco Ron Curb (405)414-7740 rcurb@odot.org
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2024 $350,000.00 Merrill Zwanka Terry Swygert 803-737-6691 SwygertTL@scdot.org
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $350,000.00 Merrill Zwanka Terry Swygert 803-737-6691 SwygertTL@scdot.org
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2026 $350,000.00 Merrill Zwanka Terry Swygert 803-737-6691 SwygertTL@scdot.org
Texas Department of Transportation 2024 $266,667.00 Travis Patton Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2025 $266,667.00 Travis Patton Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2026 $266,666.00 Travis Patton Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Virginia Department of Transportation 2024 $416,667.00 Brian Diefenderfer Bill Kelsh 434-293-1934 Bill.Kelsh@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Virginia Department of Transportation 2025 $416,667.00 Brian Diefenderfer Bill Kelsh 434-293-1934 Bill.Kelsh@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Virginia Department of Transportation 2026 $416,667.00 Brian Diefenderfer Bill Kelsh 434-293-1934 Bill.Kelsh@VDOT.Virginia.gov
West Virginia Department of Transportation 2024 $166,667.00 Perry McCutcheon Perry McCutcheon perry.j.mccutcheon@wv.gov
West Virginia Department of Transportation 2025 $166,667.00 Perry McCutcheon Perry McCutcheon perry.j.mccutcheon@wv.gov
West Virginia Department of Transportation 2026 $166,666.00 Perry McCutcheon Perry McCutcheon perry.j.mccutcheon@wv.gov

Study Description

Study Description

The NCAT Pavement Test Track was originally constructed as a result of interest and support from state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) who shared a concern for building and preserving safe, sustainable, resilient, and cost-effective pavement infrastructure.  Track research operations began in the summer of 2000.   Forty-six 200-ft test sections were subjected to 10 million equivalent single axle loadings (ESALs) of heavy truck traffic through December of 2002.   Test sections were rebuilt in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2021 with 10 million ESALs applied within each 3-year research cycle.  NCAT began formally partnering with the Minnesota Road Research Project (MnROAD) in 2015 to execute nationally relevant research in both mix performance testing and pavement preservation.  Positive experiences with implementable findings that reduce the life cycle cost of flexible pavements and facilitate rapid deployment of sustainable technologies have made this research an outstanding investment for numerous state DOTs, who pool their resources to share the cost of construction, operations, and research in a cooperative manner.  The summer 2024 rebuild is the starting point for the nineth research cycle, with many high reward research options available for potential sponsors.  NCAT is again partnering with MnROAD in the 2024 research cycle to execute a pavement performance experiment with nationwide implementation impact.

Objectives

The primary objectives of the pooled fund project described herein will be:

  1. Constructing, maintaining, and/or rebuilding experimental pavements on the existing 1.7-mile NCAT test oval and the MnROAD mainline bypass that are representative of in-service roadways on the open transportation infrastructure;
  2. Applying accelerated performance truck traffic after construction for the duration of the 3-year research cycle;
  3. Assessing/comparing the functional and structural field performance of trafficked sections on a regular basis via surface and subsurface measures;
  4. Validating/calibrating new and existing methodologies for analysis and design using pavement surface condition, pavement load response, precise traffic and environmental logging, and cumulative damage;
  5. Correlating field results with laboratory data for both mix and structural performance; and
  6. Answering practical questions posed by research sponsors through formal (i.e., reports and technical papers) and informal (e.g., one-on-one responses to sponsor inquiries) technology transfer.  For example, can pavement thickness be reduced as a result of the addition of mix additives, and if so does the thickness reduction offset any additional cost of construction?  

Scope of Work

The scope of work for the pooled fund project will include:

  1. Hauling materials to the project from offsite locations.  Material donations are typically secured by state sponsors, while reasonable hauling expenses are handled by the pooled fund;
  2. Rebuilding sections in accordance with sponsors’ directives via competitively bid subcontracts administered by NCAT.  It is anticipated that aggregate hauling, liquid asphalt supply and delivery, rental of select construction equipment, plant production, and mix placement may all be procured via competitively bid subcontracts;
  3. Installing both environmental (i.e., multi-depth pavement temperature probes) and/or response instrumentation (i.e., high speed stress and strain gages) in experimental sections;
  4. Operating a 5-truck heavy triple-trailer fleet in order to apply accelerated truck traffic on the NCAT test oval following the completion of construction.  Human drivers operate NCAT vehicles in order to best induce representative vehicle wander, but it is expected that autonomous vehicles will be implemented in the future.  Diverted interstate traffic is used to load test sections at MnROAD;
  5. Safely measuring field performance (e.g., rutting, roughness, texture, cracking, deflection, friction, etc.) on a regular basis when traffic is suspended/bypassed to fully document changes in surface condition as a function of traffic and temperature.  High-speed pavement response is also measured on a routine basis;
  6. Conducting laboratory testing to quantify basic material and mix performance properties, which will serve as the basis of performance model development; and
  7. Comparing predicted and measured pavement response as well as predicted and measured cumulative pavement damage in order to validate then calibrate prevailing analysis and design methodologies.

Comments

This project is expected to be eligible for 100% SP&R funding.  Each sponsor participating in the study is asked to contribute funding as a function of the scope of their selected research.  

Title File/Link Type Private
TPF-5(531) ALDOT Acceptance Letter TPF-5(531)_ALDOT Acceptance Letter.pdf Other Public
Solicitation No. 1601 ALDOT Waiver Request Solicitation No. 1601_(NFM) ALDOT Waiver Request Ltr.pdf Other Public
Letter of Direction for ALDOT RP 931-943P/TPF-5(531) Ltr of Direction_TPF-5(531)_ALDOT 931-943P.pdf Report Public
Title File/Link Type Private
Approved Matched Waiver Memorandum Match Waiver Approval Memorandum #1601.pdf Memorandum Public
Match Waiver Request #1601 Solicitation No. 1601_(NFM) ALDOT Waiver Request Ltr.pdf Other Public

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