The Florida Concrete Test Road includes 52 experimental concrete pavement sections open to real world traffic. The test road was constructed parallel to the existing northbound lanes of US-301 in Clay County. The Florida Concrete Test Road is unique in that it is the only full-scale concrete pavement testing facility of this type in the Southeastern United States. The Pavement Material Systems section monitors the performance of the Concrete Test Road through periodic surveys and embedded pavement instrumentation measurements. A weigh-in-motion (WIM) system located at the southern end of the test road is used to document the vehicle types and weights that travel the test road.
Three experiments are part of the initial evaluation to provide insight into FDOT's current concrete pavement design practices. These main experiments are described below.
- Structural Experiment
- Drainage Experiment
- Calibration Experiment
The structural experiment consists of 20 test sections. The primary purpose of these sections is to investigate different concrete thicknesses and base types. The concrete thickness ranges from 6 inches to 10 inches and five different base configurations are utilized. In addition, the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) as an aggregate source for the concrete pavement is part of the study.
The drainage experiment includes 16 test sections constructed with and without edge drains. Concrete pavement joints remain unsealed in selected sections to study the effect of water infiltration through joints. Two concrete pavement thicknesses and three base types were constructed in these test sections. the primary purpose of this experiment is to study the effectiveness of edge drains.
The calibration experiment consists of 16 test sections and will be used to more accurately calibrate the fatigue cracking equation within the mechanistic-empirical design guide developed by the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Concrete pavement joints will be sawed at two different lengths and curing application rates will be modified to ensure crack initiation at different ages.
In addition to the experiments listed above, three different surface textures were applied to the passing lane to evaluate the effect on pavement friction, surface drainage, and pavement/tire noise. These surface textures include longitudinal diamond grinding, a combination of longitudinal diamond grinding and transverse grooving, and a new longitudinal diamond grinding technique known as the Next Generation Concrete Surface (NGCS). Longitudinal diamond grinding, the standard surface texturing method on FDOT concrete pavements, will be performed on the entire travel lane.