Issues Affecting Pavement Performance

Having pavement that can perform at its best is the goal of any road construction or refurbishment project. From creating structurally sound roads to roads that can handle the surrounding climate, pavement must perform well and withstand any outside force it may encounter. Many issues can affect pavement performance, such as traffic and loading and environmental factors. 

Traffic and Loading 

Traffic and loading play a large role in whether or not the pavement will perform well. From dealing with various fluctuations of traffic to the caliber and size of the vehicles traveling on the roadway, the current pavement design must account for these variables in order to perform to the best of its ability. 

Contact pressure, wheel load, axle configuration, and repetition of loads all impact the pavement performance. For example, the wheel loading characteristics are used in determining the required structural section of the pavement. Another factor that has to be considered is the modulus of the subgrade or basegrade materials the pavement will be placed on. If the pavement initially placed was not equipped to handle the wheel load of traffic, the pavement will not perform well and will also deteriorate at a much faster rate. 

The geographical location and environmental conditions must also be taken into consideration when it comes to pavement performance. The proper selection of the Performance Graded binder will help ensure that the pavement will remain flexible and withstand the repeated loading of traffic in that climatic region.  If the pavement characteristics do not support the traffic that travels on the road, the pavement will become worn and weathered. A road that is not properly built for the traffic and environmental conditions it endures will not perform well; it will need constant maintenance as well as replacement sooner rather than later. 

Environmental Factors 

Many environmental factors also affect the performance of the pavement. Dealing with things like temperature and weather can greatly impact the performance of the road. 

For example, warmer climates with higher temperatures can cause sizable differences in pavement temperature from the top to the bottom of the road. Due to these shifts in temperature, the pavement can experience stresses or cracks throughout. Colder climates and temperatures can also cause issues; having frost and ice penetrate the pavement can also cause stresses as well as saturation in the subgrade. 

Weather conditions like snow and rain can also affect the pavement’s performance. Dealing with the presence of surface water infiltrating into the subgrade and poor drainage can cause the pavement to weaken and can compromise the structure and support as a whole. 

Work With G3 Quality 

At G3 Quality, we provide a full-range of services to help you and your project go off without a hitch. One of our latest projects was for LA County, in which we provided materials testing, pavement mix design, and inspection services at various locations in Los Angeles County.

We are industry leaders who are always embracing change and excellence. We are an elite team of engineers and professionals who provide world-class quality management, pavement engineering, materials design, construction inspection, and testing on infrastructure projects throughout California and the Western United States.

To learn more about how G3 Quality can contribute knowledge, expertise, consulting, and professional services to your project, contact us.