Nebraska LTAP


Date of this Version


Document Type



Rea, R. and Haghshenas,H. (2019). "In-Place Density Measurement Techniques, Laydown Methods, Compaction Equipment, Asphalt Mixtures, Cold Weather". NDOT Research Report SPR-STWD(167).


Late season paving is common and often performed in colder temperatures, which is the most challenging environment for attaining optimal in-place density/compaction The in-place density of asphalt pavement greatly affects the lifespan of the pavement. It is also a key factor in preventing major pavement distresses, such as rutting, cracking, stripping (due to water damage) and aging. This research project aims to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of different compaction, delivery, and mix design characteristics to ensure the optimization of in-place asphalt pavement density. To this end, various laydown methods (i.e., Standard Pick-up Machine (SPM) and Material Transfer Vehicle (MTV)) and compaction equipment (i.e., double drum steel rollers, pneumatic rollers, and combination rollers with both steel and pneumatic tires), using both static and vibratory modes were employed. In addition, the effect of different aggregate blend combinations (i.e., using less coarse ledge rock) and asphalt binders (i.e., PG 58V-34, PG 40-40, and PG 52-40) on in-place density were studied. Four test sections were constructed over four separate days of paving, during cold weather conditions. The in- place density was measured using four methods: 1) Conventional/traditional cut roadway cores, 2) Combination of Infrared Continuous Thermal Scanning (ICTS) with conventional/traditional cut roadway cores, 3) Pavement Quality Indicator (PQI), and 4) Rolling Density Meter (RDM) utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). The obtained results were compared and contrasted to the current testing, acceptance and construction methods system at Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) and recommendations for future construction specifications and best practices were presented.