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ADOT to test high-tech pavement equipment

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin testing some new high-tech paving equipment that the department said will help save money down the road.

ADOT is outfitting a pavement roller with special sensors designed to provide real-time information to workers about the pavement as it’s being laid.

“The pavement density has to be uniform, it has to be consistent and if there are any inconsistencies the roadway may not last as long or it may crack prematurely,” said ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel. “When that happens, that means there’s more repairs, more costs and of course there is an impact to the travelling public.”

The new technology called intelligent compaction has seen success in parts of Europe and Asia, and now ADOT will look to make it a permanent addition to their operations and equipment.

The intelligent compaction technology has an initial cost of between $25,000 and $50,000 to install on a pavement roller, but Krugel said avoiding repairs should make the initial costs worth the investment.

“It will pay for itself in the end,” Krugel said. “Anytime you have to make repairs to a roadway there are additional costs and not only are their costs, every time we have a closure to repave a section of roadway there is also an impact to the traveling public that has to deal with the traffic impact from those repairs.

ADOT will begin testing the high-tech rollers this spring on a 14-mile stretch of Interstate 40 from Walnut Canyon to Twin Arrows, east of Flagstaff, Arizona.