Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Williams, Stacy G. (Goad)


Longitudinal joints are the portion of the road where two lanes meet and are formed because the lanes are paved at different times. Longitudinal joints tend to be the weakest portion of the roadway, and yet few regulations exist to control their quality. Currently, Arkansas specifications for asphalt pavement do not include any requirements for the measurement of joint quality. The purpose of this research project is to determine the most effective method for evaluating longitudinal joints in hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavements. Most of the literature concerning longitudinal joints focuses on density as the determining factor of quality because density is easy to measure, and denser pavement is less likely to allow air and water to penetrate. Numerous studies have determined that joints with higher densities perform better than those with lower densities. However, measurement of other asphalt properties could provide a good alternative to density testing as a means of quality control. For this project, three field test sites were chosen, one site which was of good quality, one which was of marginal quality, and one which was of poor quality. Several cores were taken from these sites across the longitudinal joint and analyzed using the following methods: AASHTO T-166 (SSD), AASHTO T-331 (CoreLok), Kuss displacement, percent water absorbed, ASTM PS-129 (permeability), AASHTO T-30 (gradation), and oven derived percent binder content. The data resulting from the various laboratory tests were visually and statistically analyzed to determine which method of testing yields data having the most direct correlation to the performance of the core and provides the greatest discrimination among the different levels of joint quality. The purpose of this study was to identify which testing method shows the greatest relative differentiation of quality across the joint and from site to site so that this method may be studied further in order to recommend a minimum standard for the quality of longitudinal joints. By testing longitudinal joints and maintaining a minimum quality, the life of the pavement will be extended and the necessary amount of both scheduled and unscheduled pavement maintenance will be reduced, thus decreasing the cost of maintenance.