The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has partnered with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to use a heavy vehicle simulator to provide accelerated pavement testing to study traffic impacts in a shorter period of time.
“We located this program at VTTI because VDOT has a long and productive relationship of collaborating with Virginia Tech on transportation projects, especially through our respective research programs,” says VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick.
“The accelerated pavement testing program will provide VDOT and Virginia Tech with training and education benefits as we study more strategic and cost-effective options to save money on longer-wearing pavements. We also are gratified to have Virginia Tech as our partner in this new venture.”
The simulator will run across a 10-foot by 100-foot section of pavement throughout the day for several months to emulate “repeated passes of heavy trucks on a highway.” This will allow pavement designs and materials, such as high percentages of recycled materials, additives, binders and varying base layer configurations, to be tested prior to implementation by VDOT.
“VDOT and VTTI have a successful and extensive record of partnering to bring about substantial improvements in the transportation system,” says Dr. Tom Dingus, director of VTTI. “Collectively, we have created the resources necessary to test and develop myriad applications, from next-generation vehicular technology to infrastructure improvements. By launching the use of a state-of-the-art accelerated pavement testing program today, we will expand on this work by helping to maintain and sustain the literal foundation of driving.”