Pavement drainage contributes greatly to long-term pavement performance. Pavements undergo surface, as well as subsurface, drainage during prolonged rain events. It is this subsurface drainage that is of concern in this study. In the advanced asphalt pavements of today, where a drainage layer may be incorporated to facilitate the movement of water out of the above overlying pavement layers, water can be a problem in areas with variable permeability. High permeability may also cause other problems related to drainage such as frost heave, stripping, asphalt emulsification, and water coming out of the pavement surface from deeper layers in the pavement structure, and water coming out of the pavement layers and freezing on the surface.

No standard methodology has been developed for measuring the permeability of pavement layers in the field. It is important to be able to quantify the estimated permeability of various pavement layers to better predict pavement performance and to reduce permeability in future mixtures. A device that could test the field permeability of a pavement could serve as a tool for establishing total quality management on a project.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names are for identification purposes and are not to be considered as endorsements.