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INCLUDES: Concrete Pavement Surface Textures

Surface textures for concrete pavement have evolved over many years
FHWA Technical because of faster vehicles and increasing traffic volumes. A variety of tex-
Working Group Findings tures are now available to enhance a pavements skid resistance properties
and provide a safe and quiet riding surface for motorists. Selecting a tex-
Results of Recent Noise ture for a concrete pavement requires an understanding of the particular
and Skid Resistance needs and requirements of the facility, and matching the skid-resistance and
Studies noise qualities of the available textures to those needs.

Updated Tining Since the late 1970s, the ideal purpose of concrete pavement surface
Specifications Optimized texturing on high-speed highways has been to reduce wet-weather acci-
for Noise dents caused by skidding and hydroplaning.(1) While this primary need
remains important, in many locations noise generation has also become a
Special Textures for
significant issue. One drawback to some of the textures that agencies are
Hardened Concrete
currently using on highways is objectionable tire-road noise. Fortunately,
recent studies (2,3) have identified the source of tones that make tire-road
Complete noise objectionable, and have refined textures to reduce or eliminate
Recommendations for: these tones.

Highways Over the past 40 years there have been several shifts in the most commonly
Airports applied texture on concrete pavement highways. While the most common
Streets texture in North America remains transverse tining, many US agencies that are
Local Roads concerned about optimizing the surface for noise and skid resistance, are
Parking Lots
adjusting tine dimensions or switching to an alternate texture for high-speed
Loading ramps
highways.(4) For streets and local roads traditional drag-textures remain the
ideal choice, while on airports, the Federal Aviation Administration has specific
requirements depending upon the use of the pavement.

The character of any texture divides into two categories: microtexture and
macrotexture. Microtexture is fine-scale roughness contributed by the fine
aggregate (sand) in the concrete mortar. Macrotexture is the measurable,
deep striations or grooves formed in the plastic concrete. Macrotexture
also may come from grooves cut or sawed into a hardened concrete sur-
face. Textures that
create high skid resis- Macrotexture
Macrotexture -- formed
formed into
into surface
tance have good quali -
ty microtexture (5)

Selecting a
An agency must con-
sider the facility or
pavement location Microtexture
Microtexture -- from
from aggregate
aggregate particles
when selecting an near
near the
the surface
appropriate surface
texture. For instance,
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The table shows the Texture for Fresh

ten basic surface Concrete
textures for concrete
pavement, including Burlap Drag Produced by trailing moistened coarse burlap from a device that
descriptions of the allows control of the time and rate of texturing - usually a con-
basic processes struction bridge that spans the pavement. Produces 1.5-3 mm
used to produce the (1/16-1/8 in.) deep striations.
textures and recom-
mended dimensions Artificial Turf Drag Produced by trailing an inverted section of artificial turf from a
to optimize skid and device that allows control of the time and rate of texturing - usu-
noise.(1) The surface ally a construction bridge that spans the pavement. Produces
character of each 1.5-3 mm (1/16-1/8 in.) deep striations when using turf with
texture affects the 77,500 blades/m2 (7200 blades ft 2).
textures durability,
surface friction, tire- Transverse Broom Obtained using either a hand broom or mechanical broom
road noise and skid device that lightly drags the stiff bristles across the surface.
resistance. Produces 1.5-3 mm (1/16-1/8 in.) deep striations.

Longitudinal Broom Achieved in similar manner as transverse broom, except that

broom is pulled in a line parallel to the pavement centerline.

Random Transverse Achieved by a mechanical device equipped with a tining head

Tine* (Perpendicular (metal rake) that moves across the width of the paving surface-
or skewed) laterally or on a skew. (A hand tool is sufficient on smaller areas.)
Optimal dimensions are: random tine spacing 10 to 75-mm (1/2 to
3 in.), 3-6 mm (1/8-1/4 in.) tine depth, and 3 mm (1/8 in.) tine
width. (A 1:6 skew provides lowest noise compared to other trans-
verse tine textures.)

Achieved in similar manner as transverse tining, except that tines

Longitudinal Tine * are pulled in a line parallel to the pavement centerline. Optimal
dimensions are: 20-mm (3/4-in.) uniform tine spacing, 3-6 mm
(1/8-1/4 in.) tine depth, and 3 mm (1/8 in.) tine width.

Occasional European practice of applying a set retarder to the

Exposed Aggregate new concrete surface, and then washing away surface mortar to
expose durable chip-size aggregates. Requires uniformly apply-
ing chips to fresh surface and mechanically abrading surface to
wash away still-wet mortar.
Texture for
Hardened Concrete
Diamond Ground Longitudinal, corduroy-like surface made by equipment using
diamond saw blades gang-mounted on a cutting head. The
cutting head produces 164-197 grooves/meter (50-60
grooves/foot) and can remove 3-20 mm (1/8-3/4 in.) from the
pavement surface.

Diamond Groove Grooves sawed into surface longitudinally for highways and
transversely for airports. Made by same equipment for diamond
grinding. Typically, the grooves are 6 mm (1/4 in.) deep, 3 mm
(1/8 in.) wide and spaced 20 mm (3/4 in.) apart. On airports
grooves are 6 mm (1/4 in.) deep, 6 mm (1/4 in.) wide and
spaced 40 mm (1-1/2 in.) apart.

Abraded (Shot-blasted) Etched surface produced by equipment that hurls abrasive

media within an enclosed housing. The abrasive media impacts
the surface and removes a thin layer of mortar and aggregate.
The depth of the removal is controllable and the dust is vacu-
umed into a baghouse.

* For best results, most agencies precede tining with a burlap or artificial turf drag texture.
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Textures for Fresh Concrete

Burlap Drag
Drag Random
Random Transverse
Transverse Tine

Artificial Turf
Turf Drag
Drag Longitudinal
Longitudinal Tine

Broom Exposed
Exposed Aggregrate

Textures for Hardened Concrete

Diamond Ground
Ground Diamond
Diamond Groove

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the need for a high degree of texture is

not as great on parking areas with slower Facility Texture
traffic and little potential for hydroplaning. Airport apron, runway Burlap drag, or
Similarly, airports often use different tex- or taxiway Broom, or Turf drag,
tures on runways or high-speed taxiways
than on aprons where aircraft travel more Airport runway (high- Transverse groove
slowly. speed)

Airport taxiway (high- Transverse groove

If posted speeds are less than 72 km/h speed)
(45 mph) a drag texture is sufficient for
Existing Roadway Longitudinal groove,
safety, and is less costly and quieter than
most tine textures on a roadway. Tine (High-accident area) or abraded surface
textures were originally developed for Existing Roadway Diamond ground,
highways to address concerns over (Noise-sensitive area) or abraded surface
hydroplaning and stopping from higher
speeds, and are an unnecessary Highway (urban or Burlap drag or turf
expense on streets and local roads. In rural, high-speed) drag with random
selecting a texture for a highway, the tex- transverse or
tures tire-road noise qualities ought to be longitudinal tine
considered, particularly in populated Loading docks Burlap drag, turf drag,
areas. For airports, tire-road noise is of or broom
no concern and the Federal Aviation
Administration requires specific textures Parking lots & garages Burlap drag, turf drag,
for runways, aprons and taxiways that or broom
must be specified. Ramps Burlap drag or turf
drag with transverse or
The table below shows recommended longitudinal tine
textures for various applications. These
Streets or roads Burlap drag or turf
textures provide acoustically favorable
[>72 kmph (>45 mph)] drag (random
characteristics without sacrificing skid transverse or
resistance or safety.(1,2,3) Several alternate longitudinal tine
textures are feasible for each facility;
choosing amongst the alternates requires Streets or roads Burlap drag, turf drag,
evaluating their cost and appropriateness [<72 kmph (<45 mph)] or broom
for the facility. With many choices avail- * See Table on page 2 for optimal dimensions for
able, in no way should the feasibility of a these textures.
pavement project be limited by the sur-
face material or texture.
microtexture, aggregate properties (espe-
cially fine aggregate) will essentially deter-
Texture Durability- mine if the surface will remain rough or
The wear resistance or durability of a sur- become polished with wear. Coarse
face is an important consideration for con- aggregates are not usually exposed at the
structing a skid-resistant pavement. Both pavement surface, and therefore do not
microtexture and macrotexture wear under contribute much to pavement friction,
traffic, and therefore skid resistance of any except for an exposed aggregate, abrad-
surface decreases some over time. (5) The ed or diamond ground texture.
rate of surface wear depends upon the
traffic, including use of studded tires, and Use of polish resistant aggregate is
material properties. advisable to maintain surface friction over
long periods. Fine aggregates with at
Since it is the natural roughness of aggre- least 25% siliceous particles are known
gate that provides the pavement surface to give excellent friction performance. (7)
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However, any hard aggregate will also noise generated at ground level near the
work well. Aggregate selection decisions receptors (houses, buildings, etc.) along a
should always consider local availability roadway. A noise level exceeding about
and cost. 67 dBA (A-weighted decibels) requires a
noise-abatement feasibility analysis. The
Surface Friction- feasibility of noise-abatement measures is
Pavement surface friction depends upon also assessed if the total noise at the
a complex interaction between three receptors increases by more than about
components: pavement surface, tire rub - 10-12 dBA due to a project.
ber and vehicle operation. The presence
of water or other lubricants on the sur- Exterior Noise - The surface texture type
face and vehicle speed are generally the may slightly influence total noise at a
primary factors reducing pavement fric- receptor, but rarely are receptors close
tion.(5) While only a driver can alter the enough to high-speed roadways to make
effects of vehicle speed on frictional these slight differences critical in an EA.
resistance, the pavement surface texture More likely, road geometrics and available
can reduce the impact of pavement sur- right-of-way are the issues impacting total
face lubricants. noise at neighboring receptors.

Surface channels or grooves (macrotex- Noise levels dissipate as sound waves

ture) allow water to escape from beneath a move farther from their source. Past
tire to reduce hydroplaning. Hydroplaning noise studies show that total noise from
is tire separation from the pavement by a vehicles traveling at high speeds on typi-
layer of water, which causes loss of vehicle cal concrete or asphalt surfaces are
steering and braking control. (1) about 69-72 dBA at distances of 8 m (25
ft) from the pavement. (1,3,5) Typical local
building codes require residential build-
Modern vehicles with improved tires and
ings to be at least 9 m (30 ft) from the
anti-lock braking systems also reduce
right-of-way or property line; receptors
hydroplaning and skidding potential,
(buildings) are therefore often 15 m (50 ft)
which increases operational safety.(A dis-
or more from a pavement.
cussion of other ideas ro reduce
hydroplanning is found on page 9.)
Doubling the distance from the source
can reduce noise intensity by as much as
The tire tread pattern becomes an
6 dBA. Because the noise dissipates as
important factor when dealing with fric-
sound waves travel away from the pave-
tional resistance on wet pavement sur-
ment, slight differences from surface type
faces. The squeegee action provided are far less influential on total noise at a
by a tire tread reduces the quantity of receptor than the closeness of the road-
water between the tire and the pave- way to the buildings and inhabitants.
ment surface, enhancing the frictional
resistance created by the surface micro- Tire-pavement interaction is just one of
texture. Microtexture creates adhesion three sources of pavement noise. The
or shear resistance along the actual tire other sources, motor noise and exhaust
contact area. noise control total noise levels for both
automobiles and trucks at speeds below
Noise - about 55 km/h (35 mph) .(1,5) It is at
Pavement noise may be a concern when speeds greater than about 55 km/h
building new and widening older pave- (35 mph) that tire-pavement interaction
ments. In fact, noise pollution is one of becomes the principle source of pave-
the factors requiring evaluation in an ment noise for automobiles.
Environmental Assessment (EA) for a pro-
ject using federal funds (6). A noise pollu- Interior Noise - According to a recent six-
tion analysis for an EA must show the state study (3) , total noise is not the sole
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Graph from
Wisconsin noise
study showing the
prominent peaks
that produce
whine. Eliminating
these peaks is the
key to producing a
quieter surface.

indicator of whether vehicle-generated necessary to produce any clearly notice-

noise is considered objectionable. Noise able difference in sound level. (8)
levels in the interior of a vehicle appear to
determine this perception based on tire In 1997, Wisconsin (2) first identified that
whine (a tonal influence). The table (next uniformly spaced transverse tinesthe
page) shows a ranking of users percep- typical standard of most statesproduce
tions of loudness from recordings of vari- noise with a prominent tone, while ran-
ous road surfaces along with the actual domly spaced tines do not. Longitudinal
A-weighted noise levels. (3) tines, drag-textures, diamond ground and
abraded textures also do not produce a
Tire whine is audible inside or outside a prominent tone or whine.
vehicle. Interestingly, the perceived loud-
Interior noise spectra for two different sur-
ness of tire whine depends greatly on the
faces from the Wisconsin study show the
specific tone produced by the tire-to-
prominent peaks that produce objection-
pavement interaction. Loudness is a
able whine (see graph). Eliminating these
sensation in the consciousness of a peaks is the key to reducing a pave-
human observer that is not directly mea- ments tire whine or perceived loudness.
surable by instruments. Pure tones of The study found that drag, longitudinal
close intensity (dBA), but different fre- tine, random transverse tine, and abraded
quencies (tones), produce different sen- textures all reduce these prominent peaks
sations. The perceived loudness may dif- (tones). In the broader six-state study,
fer amongst men and women; however, longitudinal tining and skewed random
high-frequency tones usually seem louder transverse tining were subsequently
to most people than low-frequency tones. found to be most reliable in eliminating
For humans, a change of about 6 dBA is prominent peaks (discrete frequencies). (3)

Sensitivity of human ear to changes in sound level. (1)

Increase in Sound Level (dB) Change in Apparent Loudness
1 Imperceptible
3 Just Barely Perceptible
6 Clearly Noticeable
10 About Twice as Loud
20 About Four Times as Loud
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Texture Subjective Interior dBA Exterior dBA New Findings -

Rank 1 This list provides sig-
nificant conclusions
Random Transverse Tine - skew 1:6 1 67.6 82.4 from the largest
pavement surface
Random Transverse Tine - skew 1:4 2 67.2 83.1 comparison study
Asphalt - SHRP 3 65.9 81.1 ever undertaken.
The study reviewed
Variable Transverse Tine 4 67.7 81.0 57 test sites in
Colorado, Iowa,
25-mm Uniform Longitudinal Tine 5 68.0 83.9 Michigan, Minnesota,
North Dakota and
Exposed Aggregate 6 67.4 Wisconsin.
38 mm Random Transverse Tine (MN) 7 66.9 82.6 * Uniformly-spaced
transverse tines cre-
Transverse Grooved (13 mm intervals) 8 68.2 83.3 ate discrete frequen-
cies (tire whine) and
19 mm Uniform Transverse Tine 9 70.0 83.8 should be avoided.
Diamond Ground PCC 12 69.3 81.2 * Unless carefully
designed and con-
25 mm Random Transverse Tine (WI) 15 68.6 83.4 structed or skewed,
random transverse
25 mm Uniform transverse Tine 20 69.6 86.3 tining can exhibit
discrete frequencies.
1. Twenty surfaces were included in the subjective testing experiment, including some duplicate textures
from various states. 12 sections are included in this table for brevity. ( 25.4 mm = 1 inch). * Deeper tining
results in more noise
regardless of texture
Similar results to those found in the this specification is to create a smooth tire orientation.
Wisconsin study were also found recently in SN40 of about 32 and a ribbed tire SN40 * Longitudinally tined
Colorado.(8) As a result, Colorado changed of about 45. concrete pavements
their highway texturing requirement from a are among the qui-
etest pavements for
25-mm (1-in.) uniform transverse tine to 18- Measuring Textures- interior and exterior
mm (3/4-in.) longitudinal tine. The mean texture depth is estimated by noise, as quiet or
profiling the pavement surface or mea- quieter than some
Minnesota also evaluated their surface sured from the sand patch test. Surface asphalt pavements.
textures recently. In the metropolitan friction is measured using the standard * Random transverse
area surrounding Minneapolis and St. trailer test. tining skewed 1:6 to
Paul, pavement noise has become an the centerline,
exhibits low interior
important consideration as roadways The sand-patch test involves spreading noise, no discrete
there are widened and become closer to a known volume of material (uniformly frequencies and was
the surrounding receptors. Supported by graded round glass beads) on a clean rated best in a sub -
skid and noise data, Minnesota DOT and dry pavement surface and measuring jective noise test.
switched to an artificial turf drag texture the area covered. The material spread on * The lowest interior
on all new concrete pavements in 1999. the surface completely fills the surface noise levels were
The artificial turf drag texture specified in voids to the tips of the surface aggregate found on the random
Minnesota provides skid resistance and skew tined, longitudi-
particles. The area covered by the mater-
nal tined, European,
noise qualities equivalent to asphalt pave- ial is related to the surface macrotexture, lightly tined random
ments in the area. The artificial turf drag and the average depth between the bot- transverse and
specification requires a mean texture tom of the pavement surface and the asphalt surfaces.
depth of 1.0 mm (0.04 in.) or more based tops of the surface aggregate particles. * Longitudinal tining of
on the average of 4 sand-patch tests per The average macrotexture depth is deter- concrete pavement
day. Corrective action via diamond grind- mined from the known volume and the represents the optimal
ing is required if the average of the four measured area. ASTM adopted the test approach to tining.
tests goes below 0.80 mm (0.03 in.) or in (requiring glass spheres instead of sand)
an area represented by a single test as ASTM E 965.
below 0.70 mm (0.028 in.). The goal of
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In 1994, California
Department of
(Caltrans) revisited a
1970s texturing
experiment. After
about 20 years,
most test sections
exceed a skid num-
ber of 30. Their
standard 18-mm lon-
gitudinal tine surface
provides excellent
long-term results.
In 1975, Caltrans
found that longitudi-
nally tined texture
reduces wet pave-
ment accidents and
adopted the surface
as a standard in
1975. Original ques- A more sophisticated method to measure volume pavements (less than 3000 aver-
tions on the effects
surface texture uses ROSAN (Road age daily traffic).
of longitudinal tining
on directional stabili- Surface Analyzer). ROSAN is a van
ty for motorcycles equipped with laser sensors mounted on The bar chart shows ribbed and smooth
and small-tired the vehicles front bumper. The instru- tire skid resistance results from a long-
vehicles was ments can measure the profile accurately term study in California(12). Clearly, differ-
answered by keep- at speeds up to 112 km/h (70 mph). The ent textures produce different skid num-
ing the tine spacing
below 20 mm. laser measurements are stored on com- bers depending upon the character of the
puter and custom software analyzes the texture and the test used. While there is
data to create an estimated texture depth no standard, most studies seem to indi-
(ETD) which is comparable to the sand cate that using both tests (ribbed-tire and
patch test value. smooth-tire) is preferable to using one or
the other alone. (1,5)
Frictional resistance of pavement is com-
monly measured in the United States with Construction-
the locked-wheel trailer ASTM E274. The Contractors drag various materials or
test measures the tractive force required tools across fresh concrete to produce a
to pull a trailer with its wheel locked (skid- surface texture. The texture depth
ding). With the known wheel load, a depends upon the pressure applied to the
skid number or coefficient of friction is texturing tool and the time it is applied.
determined. The Skid Number is defined Therefore, it is important for the contrac-
as the tractive force divided by the wheel tor to determine the optimum time to
load, and then multiplied by 100. The begin texturing to achieve the desired
test allows for a standardized ribbed tire depth, and then consistently apply the
or a standardized smooth tire. Results texture at that time after placement.
vary depending upon which tire is used.
Contractors report improved consistency
Skid Resistance- and the ability to apply curing compounds
No US state agency establishes statutory earlier with longitudinal tining, artificial turf
requirements for minimum skid resis- drag and burlap drag textures. All U.S. state
tance.(9) Reported skid number guide- specifications require curing after texturing.
lines range from 30 to 40 for major high-
ways (interstate highways and other The six-state study found a substantial
roads with design speeds more than 65 variation in the texture achieved on the
km/h (40 mph). (10.11) Lower skid numbers roadways compared to that specified.
are acceptable for low-speed and low- Since deeper and wider textures increase
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Controlling the geometry of the pavement

to reduce the distance that the water
must flow before it exits the pavement
surface is paramount. Installing drain
systems to remove water from within the
surface (for expansive areas) may also be
advantageous. Of course environmental
conditions are extremely important, par -
ticularly rainfall intensity and temperature.

All of these factors, including surface tex-

ture, influence the water film thickness on
noise and frictional qualities, any factors a roadway during a rainfall event. Water
that control depth and width during con- Film Thickness is defined as the total thick-
struction are important. Checking the ness of water on the pavement surface
quality of texture spacing, depth or width minus the mean texture depth. (13) Water
(particularly for tine textures) is paramount flowing within the mean texture depth does
to producing consistent results. The fol- not contribute to hydroplaning. Water
lowing items are known to influence vari- above the texture does influence
ability in textures: hydroplaning if not removed by tire tread.

Consistency of concrete properties Geometry (roadway slope and distance to

(workability) edges) influences the time it takes for
Time of texturing related to concrete
water to flow off the pavement. For the
same rainfall and surface character, a
Presence of bleed water
steeper slope and/or shorter flow distance
Total pressure on texturing tools
will result in a thinner Water Film
Evenness of the tool on the surface
Thickness, reducing hydroplaning poten-
Angle of tines to the surface
tial. Therefore cross-slope should be
Cleanliness of burlap, turf or tines
maximized wherever possible with the
consideration of driver comfort and safety.
Other Considerations-
A recent hydroplaning study (13) identified
Roadway geometry changes constantly
influential factors and provided recom-
through different sections, such as tan -
mendations to reduce hydroplaning. The
gents, superelevated curves, transitions,
study recommends adjustments to cur -
crest and sag vertical curves. The table
rent cross-slope standards as the design
Minimum Recommended Cross Slopes
speed for a pavement section approach-
provide values for three design speeds
es or exceeds 100 km/h (60 mph).
and is based on a broom texture (mean
Besides surface texture, the study texture depth of 0.05 mm). These num-
emphasizes three other factors influenc- bers apply to 2-lane sections (for water
ing hydroplaning and/or wet-weather flow distance).
accident potential of a roadway.
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Grade Low Volume Moderate Volume High Volume

70 km/h (45 mph) 85 km/h (52 mph) 100 km/h (62 mph)
0.00 0.015 0.020 0.085
0.01 0.015 0.020 0.085
0.02 0.015 0.020 0.085
0.03 0.015 0.020 0.085
0.04 0.015 0.020 0.085
0.06 0.015 0.020 0.080
0.08 0.015 0.025 0.080
0.10 0.015 0.025 0.080
HORIZONTAL CURVE - RADIUS 300 m (1000 ft.)
0.00 0.015 0.020 0.080
0.01 0.015 0.020 0.080
0.02 0.015 0.020 0.080
0.03 0.015 0.020 0.080
0.04 0.015 0.030 0.080
0.06 0.015 0.030 0.090
0.08 0.015 0.030 0.090
0.10 0.015 0.030 0.090
0.00 0.015
0.01 0.020
0.02 0.020
0.03 0.020
0.04 0.020
0.06 0.025
0.08 0.025
0.10 0.025
SAG VERTICAL CURVE - RADIUS 300 m (1000 ft.)
0.00 0.030
0.01 0.030
0.02 0.030
0.03 0.030
0.04 0.030
0.06 0.030
0.08 0.035
0.10 0.035

Improving Surfaces- worn tires, decreasing wet-weather acci -

Improving noise and texture qualities of dent potential. Diamond grinding equip-
existing concrete surfaces can be accom- ment can easily remove as much as 18
plished with diamond grinding, diamond mm (0.75 in.) of concrete in one pass.
grooving or abrading.
Immediately after grinding, the locked
Diamond Grinding - Although the primary wheel longitudinal friction number (skid
purpose of diamond grinding is to reduce number) measured using ASTM E274
an existing pavements surface rough- increases dramatically. One study
ness, grinding also improves pavement showed an increase in average friction
skid resistance by restoring microtexture number from 42 before grinding to 80
and providing some macrotexture. The after grinding at five projects in the United
increased texture improves drainage at States.(14) In some cases such dramatic
the tire-pavement interface, especially for improvements may be temporary, particu-
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larly if the pavements concrete contains er accidents before grooving totaled 515
aggregate susceptible to polishing. (over a 25-year cumulative span) and
However, in Georgia, and elsewhere, it after grooving only 76 (over a 41.5-year
has also been found that, although the cumulative span).
values does decrease within the first few
years, adequate texture is maintained for Summary -
many years.(14) As a result of new studies and the recon-
sideration of concrete pavement surface
The longitudinal texture of grinding also texturing practices by some states, other
helps to provide directional stability and states are encouraged to review their
reduce hydroplaning. This may be a very standards, particularly where there is a
important factor controlling accident need to improve safety and tire-road
rates, particularly two or more years after noise along projects. The selection of
grinding. Unfortunately directional stabili- surface texture for a given project should
ty cannot be measured using skid trailers. be based on site conditions, such as cli-
mate, pavement use, speed limit, cost
A 1998 study (15) found that the overall and surrounding land use. A variety of
accident rate for diamond-ground surfaces concrete pavement textures are available
was only 60 percent of the rate for the that provide safe, durable surfaces with
non-ground surfaces. The diamond- low-noise characteristics. It is incumbent
ground pavements significantly reduced on the specifiers to determine environ-
accident rates up to 6 years after grinding. mental and pavement needs of each pro-
This suggests that, in addition to macro- ject and then specify an appropriate con-
texture depth, the direction of texture may crete surface texture.
be a significant factor affecting accident
rate on diamond-ground pavements.
(Note: this same effect also may explain
the excellent safety qualities of longitudi-
nally tined new concrete surfaces).

Abrading - Abrading (shotblasting)

removes a thin layer 0-6 mm (0-0.25 in.)
from the concrete surface. It is primarily
used as a preparation and cleaning for
bonded concrete overlays. However, it is
very effective for removing loose material
and creating a uniform texture on pro-
jects where the concrete surface has
scaled or polished. Because the etched
surface has many exposed sand-sized
particles, it provides a high degree of
microtexture or friction.

Diamond Grooving - Diamond grooving

has been used on airport, bridge and
high-accident locations since the 1960s.
Grooving provides deep channels to hold
water and excellent lateral control. It is
very effective for transitions and superele-
vated curve sections. Pioneering work
by Caltrans (16) showed a reduction in
accident rates of 85% after grooving
high-accident locations at 14 sites near
Los Angeles. On these sites, wet-weath-
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1. Tire Pavement Noise and Safety 10. Loutzenheiser, D.W., Skid This publication is based on the facts,
Performance, PCC Surface Resistance Values Used in Geometric tests and authorities stated herein. It
Texturing Technical Working Group, Design, Proceedings, First is intended for the use of professional
FHWA-SA-96-068, Federal International Skid Prevention personnel competent to evaluate the
Highway Administration, Conference, Part II, Virginia, 1959, significance and limitations of the
Washington, DC, May 1996. pp. 573-578. reported findings and who will accept
responsibility for the application of the
2. Kuemmel, D.A., and others, 11. Kummer, H.W., Meyer, W.E., material it contains. Obviously, the
Impacts Related to Pavement Tentative Skid-Resistance American Concrete Pavement
Texture Selection, Final Report, Requirements for Main Rural Association disclaims any and all
WI/SPR-06-96, Wisconsin Highways, National Cooperative responsibility for application of stated
Department of Transportation, Highway Research Program Report, principles or for the accuracy of any
Madison, WI, January 1997. No. 37, Highway Research Board, of the sources other than work
Washington, DC, 1967. developed by the Association.
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