Paving begins at VDOT’s heavy vehicle simulator site

On April 28 and 29, Boxley began paving the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS) test site with the first two of six high RAP/Balanced Mix Design (BMD) segments. These first two segments consist of one control SM-9.5A mix with 30% RAP and one SM-9.5A mix with 30% RAP optimized for performance following VDOT’s preliminary BMD requirements.

The remaining four segments will be constructed later this year. These segments include mixes utilizing 45% and 60% RAP with the addition of rejuvenators, softer binders (PG58-28), or both. Travis Higgs, VDOT’s Salem District Materials Engineer, states, “We have partnered with Boxley to produce and place some of the first BMD optimized asphalt mixes on a heavy vehicle simulator in the country. This partnership will help VDOT move even more rapidly towards the development and deployment of performance-based specifications.”

This project is just one part of Virginia’s effort towards performance-based asphalt mix design. Through this HVS test site and the 2020 BMD pilot projects around the state, VDOT and VAA are partnering to develop and implement some of the most important changes to asphalt design and production in over two decades.