Orange barrels on a highway


Minnesota's Cold Weather Road Research Facility

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Surface Characteristics


In addition to structural performance, MnDOT also monitors various pavement surface characteristics. These include ride (lightweight surface analyzer), texture (sand patch, circular texture meter), friction (locked-wheel skid tester, dynamic friction tester, grip tester), noise (on board sound intensity, sound absorption), and permeability (permeameter). Researchers aim to optimize all of these surface characteristics while providing a safe, smooth ride for the driving public.



Pavement Management Vans

A Digital Inspection Vehicle (DIV) is driven to
collect digital images, pavement roughness, and
pavement distress.

Pavetech Van
Circular Texture Meter

The Circular Texture Meter quantifies pavement surface texture for both asphalt and concrete.

Circular Texture Meter
Sand Patch

The sand patch test method is suitable for field tests to determine the average macrotexture depth of a
pavement surface.


Sand Patch
Locked-Wheel Skid Tester
Locked-Wheel Skid Tester

MnROAD uses a Locked-Wheel Skid Tester over different pavements withe application of water to produce and record lower friction values.



On Board Sound Intensity (OBSI) captures the tire pavement interaction noise using a set of sophisticated microphones mounted near the contact patch.


Sound Absorption
Sound Absorption Microphone

The sound absorption test measures the sound absorptiveness of pavement.