Contraction joints in rigid (concrete) pavements are required to permit expansion of each monolithic section of roadway. At higher speeds, the major source of highway noise is attributed to vehicle tire/roadway interaction. Current concerns about limiting the impact of highway traffic noise, has forced transportation agencies to consider strategies to control noise generated by tire/roadway interaction. Within this work the difference in noise generated by 1/4 versus 3/8-inch joint widths is conducted. The study focuses on passenger vehicles including a sedan and a light duty van/truck. Both vehicle in-cabin and roadside noise levels are measured for vehicle speeds of 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour. For the sedan, the minimum and maximum observed in-cabin differences were determined to be 1.08 and 1.82 dB(A), respectively. Minimum and maximum observed roadside differences are 1.19 and 2.58 dB(A), respectively. Van tests resulted in minimum and maximum observed in-cabin differences of 0.60 and 1.09 dB(A) and minimum and maximum observed roadside differences of 1.05 and 3.18 dB(A), respectively. This paper contains details of reference standards, test methods, and the results obtained.

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