When it comes to highway construction projects, asphalt pavement density is a big consideration for many DOTs (Dept. of Transportation), and technology for measuring and gathering this data continues to advance.

As many construction companies know, traditional methods to gather density data include using cores or nuclear density gauges to measure pavement. However, now, GPR (ground-penetrating radar) offers an alternative, which allows data to be collected quickly and accurately.

For example, the WSDOT (Washington State Dept. of Transportation), www.wsdot.wa.gov, Olympia, Wash., recently used GPR technology to measure pavement density.

The purpose of the asphalt pavement density investigation was to provide measurements and mapping across two driving lanes of a 3000-ft. section of a newly paved road.

With a vehicle-mounted GPR (ground-penetrating radar) system from Infrasense, www.infrasense.com, Arlington, Mass., density data could be collected quickly and could assess the consistency and performance of the intelligent compaction paving system.

For this particular project, the benefits include being able to collect information quickly, without interfering with normal construction procedures. Similar technology has also been used by the Florida DOT, www.dot.state.fl.us, Tallahassee, Fla., Minnesota DOT, www.dot.state.mn.us, St. Paul, Minn., CalTrans, www.dot.ca.gov, Sacramento, Calif., and NHDOT, www.nh.gov/dot/, Concord, N.H.

As technologies for highway construction projects continue to advance, GPR offers an alternative to traditional methods for measuring and gathering data for asphalt pavement density.