Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Road Research

Research Topics

Orange barrels on a highway

Optimal Timing of Preventative Maintenance for Addressing Environmental Aging in HMA Pavements

One of the major tasks in any transportation agency pavement management system is to select the appropriate method for rehabilitation and maintenance. There is a need to understand how preventive maintenance improves the performance of the existing pavements, to develop new techniques, and to determine the optimal timing for the application of these treatments.

Perhaps the main reason to apply a preventive maintenance treatment to an HMA pavement is to reduce the aging of the asphalt binder and therefore maintain a higher level of pavement performance. This research aims to better understand the mechanisms behind aging and therefore apply the right surface treatment at the right time. Asphalt Paving

This research requires a mixture of fundamental analyses based on laboratory experiments and field investigations. The timing of the surface treatment is related to the aging and distresses that develop in asphalt pavements over time. Ideally, a surface treatment should be applied at the proper time to provide a balance between maximum life and minimum cost. The progression of the asphalt pavement surface condition is mostly related to the aging characteristics of the asphalt binder and to the evolution of the mechanical properties of the binder with aging.

The goal of this study is to determine the proper timing of preventive maintenance treatments to optimize life cycle costs and pavement performance. This pooled fund study will perform preventive maintenance research on Phase Two test sections at MnROAD as well as several in-service pavements in Minnesota and around the country.

Work Plans

Reports and Publications


Previous Research

National Pooled Fund Link