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MnROAD | NRRA | Structure & Teams | Flexible Team

MnROAD HMA Reflective Cracking Challenge

Status: Developing RFP


The overall objective of this research is to evaluate the field performance of hot mix asphalt (HMA) surface mixes in new construction and in reflective cracking scenarios with test sections on MnROAD I-94 Mainline. A portion of each section will have transverse saw-cuts in the lower HMA layers to simulate an asphalt over asphalt overlay that is applied to an HMA pavement with existing thermal transverse cracking. The vast majority of state agency asphalt construction is placed as an overlay or mill and inlay, thus these MnROAD sections will represent the demands placed on the HMA mixes.

An integral component of the MnROAD Reflective Cracking Challenge is the continuation of the NCAT/MnROAD partnership with the Additive Group (AG) Experiment (see separate AG 2-pager). The AG will evaluate emerging additive products that are introduced into HMA such as recycled plastics, recycled rubber, and fibers with test sections in the NRRA’s reflective cracking challenge at MnROAD. The remainder of the test sections will include HMA surface mixtures that have shown good performance in previous NRRA and MnROAD studies or have high interest. Additionally, the Missouri Department of Transportation and MCTI Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation have committed funding to develop companion test sections in Missouri.

NRRA funding is being requested for a research contract to:

  1. Analyze the performance of HMA mixes in new construction and overlay applications at MnROAD. Does using a polymer-modified asphalt improve overlay performance?
  2. Develop a decision tool for overlay selection considering LCA.
  3. Provide a better mechanistic understanding of HMA/HMA overlays for improved modeling and testing.

Additionally, at no extra cost to the NRRA, the NCAT and MCTI collaborations will provide an assessment of the impact of including recycled additives on HMA design, testing, aging, and performance.

Project team

Email the Project Team
Technical Liaison:
Michael Vrtis, MnDOT, michael.vrtis@state.mn.us
Project Technical Advisory Panel (TAP): Contact us to join this TAP

  • Emil Bautista, Minnesota DOT
  • Jason Blomberg, Missouri DOT
  • Bill Buttlar, U of Missouri
  • Eshan Dave, UNH
  • Curt Dunn, North Dakota DOT
  • Kate Haslett, HRG Lab
  • Brian Hill, Illinois DOT
  • Dan Kopacz, Wisconsin DOT
  • Joseph Podolsky, Minnesota DOT
  • Punyaslok Rath, University of Missouri
  • Nabil Suleiman, University of North Dakota
  • Michael Vrtis, Minnesota DOT (TL)
  • Randy West, NCAT
  • Hao Yin, Horizon Engineering Consulting
  • Fujie Zhou, Texas A&M TTI

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