UT researchers develop method, saving millions in road resurfacing

UT engineers on road

TOLEDO (WTOL) - There’s always pavement to resurface in Ohio, but when the Department of Transportation noticed something didn’t seem quite right in calculating just how thick the asphalt should be, it called in researchers at the University of Toledo to crunch some numbers.

Professor Eddie Chou's team found a couple things. One, previous asphalt layers weren't being appropriately accounted for and weather also plays a role.

“Without the temperature correction, It considered the pavement to be much weaker than what it is,” explained Chou.

After three years of research, Chou and his team developed a new method to determine the appropriate thickness, specifically for composite pavement which is asphalt overlayed on concrete. ODOT put it into practice in 2018, amounting to millions in savings.

“Roughly half a million dollars a mile and they relay several hundred miles a year. So we’re talking about $30, $40 million a year in savings, each year for ODOT,” said Chou.

Now Chou has been chosen to present the method in front of thousands of professionals around the world at The Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting next week in Washington D.C. The method could end up being used by other transportation departments.

“Worthwhile. It makes the work we do worthwhile,” said Chou about the accomplishment.

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