This report describes the first of three experimental installations of open-graded friction course (OGFC) “quieter pavements” designed to reduce the noise generated at the tire/pavement interface. Experimental sections of OGFC were built using asphalt rubber (AR) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymer modified asphalt binders. A section of conventional hot mix asphalt (HMA) served as the control section for the two experimental sections.
The noise level of the OGFC-AR test section was audibly quieter than the HMA control section for only a period of five months after construction. The OGFC-SBS section was not initially audibly quieter than the HMA and never attained that level of noise reduction for the entire monitoring period of four years. The OGFC-AR test section was prone to excessive raveling and rutting and in places wore through to the underlying pavement. The OGFC-AR was removed by grinding in January of 2012 because of safety concerns with the rutting and in preparation for a project that reconstructs the entire corridor.
Open graded friction course quieter pavements are not recommended for use in Washington State due to the short duration of their noise mitigation properties and unacceptable life cycle cost.