Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall/Winter 2022

Fall/Winter 2022 57 ACPA COLORADO/WYOMING CHAPTER Angela Folkestad, PE Concrete Pavement Smoothness Pavement smoothness is of great interest to the traveling public as they drive or ride on roads throughout Colorado, and the concrete paving industry is continuously striving to provide smoother roads to meet the needs of the public and provide a quality and long-lasting product to owner agencies. Pavement smoothness is defined as a measure of irregularities in the pavement surface that adversely affect the ride quality of a vehicle and the end user. A road’s smoothness not only provides a better ride to the end user, but it can also add life to the pavement. Concrete paving contractors have improved their initial smoothness results over the years through innovations in equipment, concrete materials and mix designs, and improved finishing and curing practices. Our roads stay smoother longer because of the dowel bars installed during construction to transfer load across the transverse joints. And we can’t forget the options we have to restore smoothness as a pavement ages. Numerous concrete pavements in Colorado have performed well beyond their design lives – and many of these have been the recipient of a diamond grinding treatment that has restored smoothness. In some cases grinding has made the pavement smoother than it was when originally built. Numerous roads in Douglas County have been diamond ground through the County’s proactive approach to pavement management and focus on preserving their assets. Their multi-year concrete pavement rehabilitation program in Highlands Ranch resulted in smoothness values in the mid-60s. Wilcox Street in the Town of Castle Rock was originally constructed in 1989, achieved its design life 20 years later, and was diamond ground nearly 30 years after construction in 2018. Grinding dropped the smoothness values by half, resulting in a much smoother ride and further extending the pavement life. Angela Folkestad is the executive director of ACPA, Colorado/Wyoming Chapter. She can be reached at The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has recently diamond ground several stretches of I-76, allowing travelers through eastern Colorado to experience dramatically smoother rides. Grinding on 24 miles of the 29 to 31-yearold eastbound driving lane from Roggen to west of Fort Morgan improved the smoothness from 190 inches/mile (poor category per FHWA) to a dramatically smoother 67 inches/mile (good category) with a total construction cost of less than $2 million. Learn more about constructing smooth concrete pavements and restoring smoothness in older concrete pavements at the Annual Concrete Pavement Workshop on Thursday, March 2nd in Denver. Registration opens in December on our website at Concrete Pavement on Wilcox St. in Castle Rock 30 years after construction.