Infrasense Provides Pavement Structure Evaluation of 1500 Lane Miles of North Dakota County Roads to Support Larger Needs Assessment Related to Oil Shale Development

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Infrasense has completed a subsurface pavement structure investigation as part of a larger Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute study to determine the investment needs for all county and township roads and bridges in North Dakota. The pavement investigation project called for GPR pavement thickness and structure information for over 1500 miles of roads to supplement falling weight deflectometer testing.

Infrasense vehicle-mounted GPR system for pavement thickness surveys

Infrasense evaluates the pavement structure for a North Dakota county roads needs assessment.

Infrasense has recently completed a subsurface pavement structure investigation of over 1500 miles of pavement throughout North Dakota. The project was part of a larger study being conducted by North Dakota State University's Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI) to determine the investment needs for all county and township roads and bridges in North Dakota. With the recent booming growth of the oil and natural gas industry in the state, maintaining the road network has become a greater priority.

The pavement structure investigation required significant data collection efforts; Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) testing and continuous GPR thickness scanning were performed on over 1500 lane miles of pavement across the state. Infrasense performed the GPR data collection in under two weeks using a highly efficient vehicle-based GPR data collection system traveling at normal driving speeds. All data was synchronized with a Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide coordinate locations for the detected pavement thicknesses and accurately locate pavement layer thicknesses at the FWD test locations. The pavement structure data including layer thicknesses and strengths, in addition to production forecasts, road condition, traffic counts, bridge inventory data, and costs and practices will be input to an AASHTO 1993-based pavement analysis model to estimate paved road improvement needs. Bridge needs will be forecasted using a component deterioration model developed by UGPTI.

Infrasense has played a key role in the development and implementation of GPR for pavement assessments over the past 26 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 less than 100 miles along the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a survey of 3,500 miles for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

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.

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, since 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.

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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