The world’s two largest full scale accelerated pavement testing facilities have joined research efforts with a goal of providing pavement design guidance that benefits state and local DOTs across the country.
Minnesota-based MnROAD and Alabama-based NCAT (National Center for Asphalt Technology) developed a formal partnership with a goal of enabling shared research data. Their experiments aim to determine the effects of climatic differences on pavement performance, using similar roadway construction materials under high- and low-volume traffic conditions. Visibility into research results through photos, videos, location information, and test section is crucial to the success of their collaboration and required an investment in technology that allows the teams to seamlessly share the field collected project intelligence information gathered on each track.
“The HeadLight platform enables us to share photos and videos of our research findings in one central location, all while collaborating in real-time,” said Ben Worel, MnROAD Operations Engineer, MnDOT. “This detailed collaboration will improve coordination of both the research with NCAT but also allow us to share visual findings with our customers on the pavement performance, which ultimately enables us in providing cost-effective solutions that can be implemented nationwide.”
“With MnROAD now using HeadLight, we have a shared technology platform in place that greatly enhances our joint efforts in covering parallel experiments under an exceptionally broad range of climatic conditions,” said R. Buzz Powell, NCAT Assistant Director and Test Track Manager.
“A real-time view of both the north and south test sites expedites our delivery of implementable findings to partnership research sponsors.”
The two primary experiments in the partnership focus on pavement preservation and validation of cracking tests in a broad range of climate conditions. Research leads to safer and more cost effective pavement designs that can be adopted by state DOTs and municipalities across the country.
The parallel studies are aimed at producing findings that can be directly implemented by a larger base of state departments of transportation who may have had previous concerns that findings from just one test track were not directly applicable to their climate or pavement surface type. All data related to the cracking and pavement preservation research is now stored in a central system by teams at each location and can be made available to other stakeholders now and in the future within the HeadLight platform.
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TxDOT, WSDOT, and MnDOT worked together to quantify the benefits of using the HeadLight Fieldbook technology for project delivery. Those findings were published in a joint research report that provides the results of using a Project Intelligence platform like HeadLight. You can review the summary of those results here.