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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quieter Pavement Research: Concrete Pavement Tire Noise


This research report presents the results of tire/pavement noise measurements performed on concrete pavements as a part of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Quieter Pavement Research (QPR) study to investigate tire/pavement noise characteristics on concrete pavements and bridge decks. The study included a total of 120 pavement sections at 47 different sites on various state highways throughout California. Most of the sites (36) were divided into three sections each for measurement and evaluation of tire/pavement noise using the On-board Sound Intensity (OBSI) method, while the other sites had one or two test sections. The evaluation included visual observation of pavement surface condition and texture type, some of which was performed from a moving vehicle, as no traffic closures were used for this research. The following five texture types were evaluated, with the number of sections shown in parentheses: burlap drag (37), diamond ground (33), diamond grooved (19), longitudinally broomed (10), and longitudinally tined (21). The report explains the data collection and data reduction procedures, data analysis, and discussion of the results. Overall, the longitudinally broomed texture type was found to be the quietest, although this texture had a small data sample, followed by diamond grooved and diamond ground. Burlap drag was as quiet as diamond ground, and longitudinally tined was the loudest. Differences in mean OBSI levels were small between all types, while differences of up to 5 dB(A) were measured within a given texture type. The range of OBSI levels across all sections during the two years was 99.4 to 107.3 dB(A). In addition to texture, the measured OBSI levels include the effects of joint slap, faulting and sealant, if they were present.

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