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Noise measurements of highway pavements in Texas.
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    This report presents the results of noise testing performed on Texas pavements between May of 2006 and the summer of 2008. Two field test methodologies were used: roadside noise measurement with SPL meters and onvehicle sound intensity measurement of noise at the tire/pavement interface. Additionally, pavement samples were tested in an impedance tube. Comparisons are made between the levels of vehicular noise at the roadside and directly on the source vehicle. The FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM) computer program was used to predict the noise levels at roadside based on the observed traffic and geometry of the roadway, and subsequently compared to the noise as actually measured with precision test equipment. An important part of the study focused on testing pavements corresponding to the New Generation Open Graded Friction Course type, a permeable asphalt design with air voids in the area of 17 percent, also known as Permeable Friction Course (PFC) in Texas. Findings indicate that roadside noise levels experienced along PFC pavements are significantly lower than predicted by TNM using either the "Average" or "Open Graded" pavement models included in the program. Measurements at the tire/pavement interface confirm the quieter characteristics of these surfaces. The study results also suggest a slight degradation of such quietness with time, but even with this small increase in noise levels the surfaces can still be considered quieter than other pavement types. Furthermore, the increase in loudness is not significant enough to assert that these PFC surfaces cannot retain their acoustic properties over time. As per the results obtained in this study, it can be said that open-graded pavements can be reliably used for noise impact avoidance and abatement.
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