Infrasense Scans Subsurface of Cleveland Memorial Shoreway to Characterize Pavement Structure

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Infrasense has recently performed a subsurface pavement structure investigation of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway in Cleveland, Ohio. The objective of the subsurface investigation was to determine the material composition and layer thicknesses of the pavement structure to facilitate an upcoming reconstruction project.

Sample geospatial deliverable of pavement structure information

Infrasense, Inc. recently completed a subsurface pavement structure investigation of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway using high-speed ground penetrating radar (GPR). The initial phase of the GPR evaluation included an analysis of the data to define the limits of the different structural "sections" of pavement throughout the length of both the outer eastbound and westbound shoulders. The mainline roadway is known to be constructed of concrete with an asphalt overlay, but there was some uncertainty regarding the structure of the shoulders. This structure analysis information was used by Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) personnel to guide subsequent coring operations. The combination of the targeted core information and the continuous GPR pavement structure information, including the individual layer thicknesses, provided a comprehensive picture of the subsurface conditions.

The pavement structure data was collected with a single air-coupled radar antenna manufactured by Geophysical Survey Systems Inc. (GSSI), and was synchronized with a Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide coordinate locations for the detected pavement thicknesses. Data collection was performed at driving speeds allowing traffic to flow without any disruption. Pavement structure results were provided in geospatial, tabular, and graphical formats.

Infrasense has played a key role in the development and implementation of GPR for pavement assessments over the past 25 years. Currently, the most common application of this state-of-the-art technology is the determination of pavement layer thickness because, unlike traditional coring, GPR requires no lane closures and provides a timely and cost-effective means of collecting continuous thickness data. This data may be used for network-level pavement management, project-level rehabilitation design, or quality assurance of newly constructed pavements. Infrasense surveys have covered over 10,000 lane miles of pavement. Projects range in size from our recent project in Cleveland, Ohio to a survey of over 1,500 miles of county roads in North Dakota working with the North Dakota State University's Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.

At the network level, GPR can provide layer structure data used to identify homogeneous sections and to compute the remaining life of segments of the network. Computation of remaining life enables highway agencies to optimize their programming and planning of pavement rehabilitation. A number of agencies have implemented GPR at the network level, including the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and the Oklahoma DOT.

At the project level, GPR data provides information that enables owner agencies and consultants optimize rehabilitation design by providing accurate information on the current pavement structure. GPR data is also used to implement pavement recycling by providing details on the thickness of the bound material and how it varies over the project length.

Many GPR pavement thickness studies focus on supporting FWD operations. Pavement strength evaluations using a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) provide useful data to pavement engineers for estimating remaining life and planning rehabilitation. Accurate pavement layer thickness data enhances FWD pavement strength evaluations, because thickness data is required for calculation of the pavement moduli. Thus, the availability of GPR data can provide a better estimate of the remaining life of a particular pavement and can enable more accurate planning decisions. Infrasense has provided pavement thickness data for 24 airports in South Carolina in order to supplement FWD testing on the runways, taxiways, and aprons.

Layer thickness estimates are also useful for quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) for construction of new pavements and overlays. GPR can provide a faster and more complete means of nondestructively obtaining QA/QC data than coring. Inadequate layer thickness can be quickly identified, and construction pay factors may be determined.

About Infrasense, Inc.
Since 1987, Infrasense, Inc. has applied state-of-the-art technologies to address the most difficult challenges in subsurface scanning. Infrasense’s engineers are able to nondestructively extract critical information from a diverse range of structures. In addition to providing ongoing subsurface evaluation services to clients across the country, the firm has also conducted numerous research programs to advance the field of subsurface detection and non-destructive evaluation.

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Sarah Kelly
Infrasense, Inc.
+1 (781) 648-0440
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Infrasense, Inc.

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