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The falling weight deflectometer drops about 180 kilograms (400 pounds) onto the road while sensors gather data to reveal the quality of the pavement below. // PHOTO FROM LEIF NORMAN

The falling weight deflectometer drops about 180 kilograms (400 pounds) onto the road while sensors gather data to reveal the quality of the pavement below. // Photo from Leif Norman

CBC: Pavement-pounding technology that gathers data on road condition hits Winnipeg streets

June 13, 2018 — 

As CBC Manitoba reports

Winnipeg’s roads already take a pounding but a ground-shaking technology is now being applied to the city’s pavement in hopes it will help plan more efficient road repairs in the future.

“This technology can really detect whether this concrete is performing accordingly or if there’s cracks and damage under the surface of the concrete,” said Ahmed Shalaby, a civil engineering professor at the University of Manitoba and the university’s municipal infrastructure chair. 

Ahmed Shalaby.

Ahmed Shelby. // Photo from Leif Norman

The falling weight deflectometer, a pickup truck outfitted with a hydraulic weight platform, drops about 180 kilograms (400 pounds) onto the road while sensors gather data to reveal the quality of the pavement below.

“That information translates into if there are voids under the surface, if there are cracks, if the road is damaged,” said Shalaby.

The load simulates that of a passing loaded truck and does not cause any damage to the road.

“So without coring or digging in the pavement, we are able to tell what is the condition underneath the surface,” said Shalaby, who became the city’s first chair in municipal infrastructure — a U of M position funded by the city, province and private sector — in 2016. The research program, focused on improving municipal infrastructure, has a budget of just over $1 million dollars over five years.

Read the full CBC story here

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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