Pavement and highway design, construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance increasingly benefits from evolving hard and soft technologies. And many of these technologies support the current focus on green infrastructure. Following is a selection of recently introduced, improved, or applied tools and products. Supplier web addresses are provided for immediate access to additional information.
Acoustical Solutions, Inc. (www.acousticalsolutions.com) offers AcoustiClear, a clear noise barrier wall system made from recyclable polycarbonate plastic modules. According to the company, the modular design of the AcoustiClear panels allows for flexibility in design, expansion, and transportability of the wall system. The system can be installed using posts made of steel, high strength composites, or concrete. The wall system is corrugated on both sides, reducing sound levels and allowing for as much as 80 percent of light to transmit through the wall, the company said.
Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (www.ads-pipe.com) said its Secugrid Geogrid can increase the load-bearing capacity of weak subsoil. According to the company, Secugrid Geogrid provides high strength in an easy-to-install interlocking system with a structured grid surface that provides a high angle of friction and has excellent resistance to chemical or biological attack. It is available in rolls as long as 328 feet with a selection of mesh sizes.
According to Autodesk, Inc. (www.autodesk.com/civil) AutoCAD Civil 2010 helps users complete transportation projects faster by streamlining intersection and corridor design with purpose-built tools and customizable standards. The user interface features a customizable ribbon toolbar that is task-oriented with redesigned, intuitive icons. A customizable Quick Access Toolbar allows one-click access to users— favorite and most frequently used tools. Surveying and design enhancements include an Intersection Design Wizard that the company said helps take the complexity out of modeling typical intersections and facilitates creation of dynamic 3D intersection models.
CENTRIA (www.centria.com) introduced a composite sound barrier —” the Eco Sound Barrier —” that the company said provides an environmentally friendly alternative to precast concrete sound barriers at nearly one-third of the material cost. The Eco Sound Barrier is made from 23-percent recycled material and is 100-percent recyclable at the end of its useful life. At 2.25 to 4.25 pounds per square foot, the barrier is lighter than traditional precast sound barriers, requiring fewer trucks to transport it to the jobsite and fewer workers to install. Eco Sound Barrier panels are available in standard lengths of 12, 14, and 16 feet, as well as custom sizes.
Forta Corporation (www.forta-fi.com) introducted FORTA-FI —” fiber blends engineered for reinforcing hot-mix asphalt, warm-mix asphalt, and hot/cold patch asphalt. According to the company, asphalt reinforced with FORTA-FI exhibits reduced rutting and cracking and lasts more than 50 percent longer than unmodified asphalt. FORTA-FI proprietary blends contain aramid and polyolefin fibers and other materials known for their strength, durability, and binding properties, the company said.
Fort Miller Company, Inc.—s (www.fortmiller.com) Super-Slab is a slab-on-grade system used for highway and airport pavement replacement, as well as approach slabs to bridges and tunnels and for crosswalks and complex urban intersections. Super-Slab concrete panels are precast to exacting tolerances and placed on pre-graded, subbase surfaces that have similar exacting tolerances. Slabs interlock with adjacent panels with load-transfer dowels. Specially designed grout is pumped into a bedding grout distribution system, filling voids that may exist under the slabs.
Inspection Instruments, Inc. (www.inspectioninstruments.net), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pile Dynamics, Inc., introduced the Acoustic Concrete Tester (ACT), which determines the thickness of plate-like concrete elements such as pavements, slabs, retaining walls, tunnel liners, silos, footings, and more. In addition, the company said, the ACT aids in reassuring owners that concrete structures are free of flaws such as delaminations, voids, spalling, and honeycombing. The ACT is light and the test it performs is simple, fast, and non-destructive (no coring).
Lafarge North America, Inc. (www.lafarge-na.com) said its NewCem slag cement, engineered for long-term durability, is widely specified in high-performance concrete mixes by many state transportation departments to help achieve greater strength potential, reduced permeability, and increased resistance to chemical attack. It also provides significant sustainability benefits, the company said, because the use of slag cement saves virgin raw materials, consumes less energy, and makes use of an industrial by-product material.
PolyCon Manufacturing—s (www.polyconmfg.com) E-Krete is a polymer composite micro-overlay (PCMO) that bonds to asphalt pavement, chip seal, polished stone, and other bituminous products, as well as concrete and primed metal. According to the company, E-Krete is unaffected by water, UV, ice, oxidation, automotive fluids, aircraft fluids, oil, diesel, and gasoline. Cracks in oxidized pavement are filled by the PCMO material as the asphalt pavement is capped with a 1/8-inch lift of E-Krete. The company says it is the only cementitious pavement preservation material approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, the EPA, and The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is currently in the approval process in seven state transportation departments. According to the company, E-Krete provides a Solar Reflectivity Index that exceeds the requirement for LEED projects.
Savoy Computing Services Ltd. (www.savoy.co.uk) released AutoTrack v8.51, a vehicle swept-path analysis suite that runs natively within AutoCAD 2010, PowerDraft, Bentley MX suite, and MicroStation V8i. For example, users can design road alignments, junctions, and roundabouts using MXROADS, then seamlessly validate them using AutoTrack—s swept-path analysis, all within the familiar MX environment. AutoTrack—s reporting tools can then produce the swept-path reports and animated presentations often required by planning departments.
TenCate Geosynthetics (www.mirafi.com) designed a brochure focusing on high-performance geotextiles for haul roads, including its Mirafi HP-Series woven geotextiles, comprised of high-tenacity polypropylene yarns. According to the company, one of the primary uses of geosynthetics is the stabilization of subgrades for haul roads, and almost every construction project has a need for a geosynthetically stabilized aggregate, from access roads to construction entrance roads, to staging areas and working platforms. The economical design of haul roads and the stabilization of work areas can be a challenge to an engineer faced with soft subgrades and poor load-bearing soils. The new brochure is a companion piece to TenCate—s PowerPoint presentation specific to aggregate road systems. The brochure can be viewed and downloaded at www.mirafi.com in the technical information section and, when used in conjunction with the online —Quick Spec Guide,— will assist in specifying an appropriate geosynthetic for haul roads, the company said.
Tensar International (www.tensarcorp.com) introduced TriAx Geogrid to complement its Biaxial Geogrid for roadway applications. TriAx Geogrid uses multi-directional properties of triangular geometry to increase in-plane, radial stiffness. According to the company, its square-edged rib shape and deeper rib profile confines aggregate to form a stabilized composite layer that optimizes the component thicknesses of aggregate and asphalt for paved applications and granular fill for unpaved applications. Tensar said that TriAx Geogrid can reduce asphalt quantities by 15 percent to 30 percent and aggregate base/subbase requirements by 25 percent to 50 percent, as well as extend maintenance and rehabilitation intervals and increase the service life of flexible pavements.
Transoft Solutions (www.transoftsolutions.com) developed TORUS, a swept-path roundabout geometry designing software program powered by the company—s AutoTURN engine. The application was developed around dynamic editing tools that give a user the ability to reduce the number of iterations needed while receiving immediate feedback on fastest drive paths and critical sight lines as the result of design changes. Designers can generate roundabout geometries in single- or double-lane initial configurations based on design vehicle movements and clearance offsets. TORUS ensures the roundabout design has the space for the desired movements, which means post-design modifications and alterations don—t have to wait until the post design phase, the company said.