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Pavement Texturing

Open-graded asphalt pavements, like those used on I-5, SR 520, and I-405 have been consistently measured as the “quietest” pavements in other parts of the world. Unfortunately open-graded asphalt pavements perform poorly when they are exposed to vehicles using studded tires. However, recent research has shown that certain concrete pavement surface textures have the potential to reduce tire/pavement noise.

WSDOT measured noise at the tire and pavement interface on several types of concrete surface textures that are applied to “wet” concrete before it hardens.

  • Longitudinal tining adds shallow grooves parallel to the direction of traffic flow.
  • Carpet drag finishing creates a striated texture parallel to the direction of traffic.

The noise results below are from two projects on I-5 between Pierce County Line and Federal Way. The charts show measurements taken just after construction, at six months, and at fifteen months later for the carpet drag and longitudinal tined textures. The existing concrete pavement on these two projects received dowel bar retrofit treatment followed by diamond grinding to remove studded tire wear. Additional diamond grinding data is found on the Pavement Grinding page.

I-5 Federal Way Carpet Drag

I-5 Federal Way Longitudinal Tined Texture Noise Levels

The results indicate that the noise levels on the carpet drag and longitudinal tined textures are somewhat better than noise levels reported in the literature for transverse tined texture (103 to 110 dBA).  Transverse tined texture ads shallow grooves in the pavement that are perpendicular to the direction of traffic and is typically the "loudest" type of concrete pavement.

WSDOT used longitudinal tining on a concrete rehabilitation project on I-90 near Cle Elum in 2010.  The right lane was completely replaced with new concrete and given a longitudinal tined texture.  The chart below shows the noise measurements on the existing concrete before construction and the longitudinal tined texture after construction.  The passing lane was restored to a good riding surface with conventional diamond grinding.  Noise level results for the conventional diamond grinding can be found on the Pavement Grinding page.

I-90 CleElum Conventional Diamond Grinding