Accelerated Pavement Testing and Research


The Florida Department of Transportation's Accelerated Pavement Testing and Research Program is housed within the new State Materials Research Park in Gainesville, Florida.  The testing site consists of eight linear test tracks.  Each test track is 150 ft long and 12 feet wide.  Two additional test tracks are designed with water table control capability within the supporting base and subgrade layers.  The accelerated loading is performed using a Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS), Mark IV model.  The HVS is electrically powered (using external electric power source or electricity from an on-board diesel generator), fully automated, and highly mobile.  It can apply wheel loads between 7 and 45 kips at speeds of up to 8 mph.  This allows the simulation of 20 years of loading of in-service pavement systems in as little as 3 months.  The HVS functionality has recently been enhanced to include automated laser profiling and test track temperature control capabilities.  The general specifications of the HVS include the following:

  • Weight:  50+ tons

  • Length:  75 feet

  • Width:  12 feet

  • Height:  13 feet

  • Wheel loading range:  7 to 45 kips

  • Sinusoidal loading capability

  • Maximum wheel speed:  8 mph

  • Test Span:  20 feet

  • Maximum wheel passes/day: 29,000 for bi-directional testing; 14,000 for uni-directional testing

  • Wander capability:  0 to 30 inches         

  • Super-single and dual tire configuration capable

  • Maximum rut depth measurement:  4 inches

The Pavement Systems Evaluation Section of the State Materials Office directs and coordinates all the activities associated with the Accelerated Pavement Testing and Research Program. The development, planning and execution of the program have been done with the support of the Florida Department of Transportation's Central Office and Districts, and through partnerships with Florida's university system, industry and the Federal Highway Administration.  The Current APT Research link below provides details and preliminary results from the ongoing experiment.