This study evaluates the use of 3D laser scanning technology to measure pavement roughness. Three 100 m test sections, ranging from smooth to very rough (with apparent cracks, areas of distress, and manholes) were selected to investigate the capability of the 3D laser scanning technology. Rod and level surveys were conducted to establish the reference profile for each test section. In addition, Multiple Laser Profiler (MLP) was employed to measure the multiple paths of each test section. Results from multiple paths of 3D laser scanning were compared with those from MLP and rod and level surveys. The 100 m reference profiles indicate similar results between the 3D laser scanning and rod and level survey. With 95% confidence, the statistical paired-samples T-test indicates that there is no significant variation between the results from rod and level surveys and 3D laser scanning. The data include IRI from 2.83 to 13.15 m/km such that they represent a wide spectrum of pavement conditions. The coefficient of correlation (R2) between the MLP and 3D laser scanning from 20 longitudinal profiles is 0.99. The 3D laser scanning is a static method and thus the data do not have to be filtered and therefore there is no associated cut-off wavelength problem. Based on the results gathered, the 3D laser scanner is able to collect reliable profile data and has high potential to be used as a QC/QA tool for construction acceptance. Through 3D laser scanning technology, pavement engineers are able to visualize the pavement roughness covering the entire pavement width in unprecedented detail that consists of extremely rich and accurate point-cloud data.
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