Construction on the AA Highway began in late 1985 and was completed in late 1990. Prior to construction, 30 different test sections had been designed into the highway for evaluation. The test sections contain 23 different characteristic qualities and different segment lengths. The segment lengths range from 1.28 to 9.13 miles and took one and a half to four years to complete each segment.
The sections were constructed from various pavement and shoulder designs. The designs are varied by parameters such as the type of subgrade stabilization, drainage type, surface class, surface aggregate, and more. The purpose for monitoring the performance of the AA Highway is to compare the different design types to determine the most feasible, long-lasting design available. There are several factors that impact the long term performance of the pavement. These include the volume of traffic, the classification of traffic, ESAL (equivalent single axle load), and environmental factors. Therefore, the performance of the pavement can not be entirely dependent on the design.
The pavement performance was monitored periodically since construction through 1999. Falling weight deflectometer (FWD) measurements were made, distress surveys were conducted, and rideability data was collected from the Pavement Management Branch of the Division of Operations.
Cracking of all types was the most prevalent form of distress in all the sections. Raveling was the second most prominent distress. Much of these distresses were associated with crushed gravel surfaces. There was less cracking and raveling on sections that were paved with crushed limestone surface mixtures.
Digital Object Identifier
Fleckenstein, L. John; Osborne, Monica L.; and Allen, David L., "Long-Term Monitoring of Experimental Features, Subtask 2: Alexandria-Ashland Highway (KY 9) Pavement Performance Monitoring" (2000). Kentucky Transportation Center Research Report. 1604.