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Crushed-stone base on roadways provides structural integrity, facilitates drainage, and minimizes construction costs. At this time, however, it is not being used to its full potential in pavement construction: recent laboratory tests show that a properly designed and constructed crushed-stone base is much stronger than widely believed.
A test pavement project in North Carolina involving the Vulcan Materials Company (VMC), the North Carolina Aggregates Association (NCAA), and the North Carolina Department of Transportation has been undertaken to provide data on the effectiveness of pavements constructed with thin asphalt surfaces over thick aggregate base courses. State Route 1508 in North Carolina, constructed in early 1985 and designed to have a five-year life, is one of the test roads used in the project. The road has been subjected to 60% of its design traffic in 18 months and shows minimal amount of distress. Because it is trafficked by all incoming and outgoing aggregate haulers from a VMC quarry (for which it was constructed), SR 1508 is of interest to engineers concerned about the deformation of pavements (rutting) due to the loadings of heavy truck traffic.
bituminous concrete, flexible pavements, aggregate base course, permeability
Senior materials engineer, Vulcan Materials Co., Birmingham, AL