Pavement Engineering & Testing


Pavements represent a huge investment to any agency, and early pavement failures, poor performance, and costly repairs can significantly affect operations.

Quantifying current and future pavement conditions is a challenge for many airports and highway agencies. Questions and concerns about current condition ratings, load-carrying capabilities, remaining service life, and pavement repair strategies are common.


ARA provides comprehensive pavement engineering research and consulting services for roadways, airfields, parking areas, and intermodal facilities, and employs a range of pavement testing technologies that include automated pavement surface condition assessment, structural evaluation, and a number of nondestructive evaluation techniques. Long-time members of the transportation community, we have served hundreds of municipal, state, federal, military, and private organizations worldwide with improved pavement designs and performance.

Our research and manufacturing capabilities combined with hands-on project delivery experience uniquely qualify us to assist the transportation industry in developing long-lasting, sustainable, and cost-effective designs for both in-service and newly constructed pavements. We developed, and worked with state highway agencies to implement, both the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide technology and the AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design software, helping agencies realize the economic benefits of optimal pavement design. We are also using this expertise to help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) develop an extended life airfield pavement design procedure.

ARA’s research and technology deployment help our clients increase safety and efficiency, protect the environment, reduce project delays, and extend the life of pavement assets.

ARA offers pavement evaluation services for both airfield and highway pavements. We apply state-of-the-art technologies to assess existing pavement conditions, identify the remaining pavement service life, and develop cost-effective pavement rehabilitation strategies based on detailed life cycle cost analyses. ARA has a robust fleet of pavement testing equipment and technologies to meet our customers’ needs. Our fleet of pavement testing equipment and technologies includes:

  • Falling weight deflectometer (FWD), ARA offers both the standard and heavyweight versions
  • Pavement friction tester that meets the requirements of ASTM E274
  • Digital survey vehicles (DSVs) that capture geo-referenced digital imagery of the pavement surface and roadside assets and geo-referenced longitudinal profile, cross slope, and rutting data
  • PaVision, an innovative, low-cost device for conducting automated pavement condition surveys
  • Laser crack measurement system (LCMS), which uses laser line projectors, high-speed cameras, and advanced optics to acquire high-resolution 3D images of the pavement surface and associated distresses
  • Lightweight profilers (LWPs) for assessing ride quality of newly constructed pavement
  • Magnetic image tomography (MIT) technology, which measures dowel bar alignment in jointed concrete pavement
  • Dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP), both hand-held and automated trailer-mounted systems and services
  • Pavement coring using a high-speed trailer mounted system that allows for rapid coring and reduced lane closure times
  • ATLaS accelerated pavement testing machine allows agencies to evaluate materials, designs, and techniques in a controlled environment in order to inform road and bridge construction and maintenance decision making.

ARA can accurately assess both functional and structural characteristics of in-place pavements, project future performance, and identify when and how best to cost-effectively repair a pavement section for both near- and long-term considerations.

Leveraging extensive experience in pavement engineering and a fleet of pavement testing equipment and related technologies, ARA helps agencies build long-lasting infrastructure and address major questions and concerns regarding the condition and expected performance of their existing pavement structures.

Mike Harrell PE  •  Tel: 217-356-4500