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Accelerated Pavement Load Facility

Moving apparatus consisting of long horizontal beams on vehicle-sized wheels, inside of a large garage

The Accelerated Pavement Load Facility (APLF), located on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus, allows researchers to apply repeated wheel loads of up to 30,000 pounds over full scale sections of asphalt or concrete pavement under tightly controlled environmental conditions. The 2.5 million dollar, 4200 square foot facility provides space for construction of two lanes of pavement and monitoring under various environmental conditions.


The loading mechanism in the environmentally controlled chamber of the Accelerated Pavement Load facility helps ORITE researchers evaluate the effects of various environmental conditions, materials, and load levels on a variety of pavement structures. By applying repeated loads over sections of pavement under rigidly controlled conditions, overall relative performance can be assessed much earlier and with much greater confidence than by observing test sections constructed on in-service pavements. The APLF has several attributes which set it apart from similar facilities in the U.S. and around the world. Major features include these:

  • Capability of testing asphalt and Portland cement concrete
  • Full width capacity for two, 12-foot-wide adjacent lanes with 4-foot and 10-foot shoulders, and 8-foot-deep pit for construction of the desired base and subgrade
  • Full access for construction equipment to place pavements in accordance with standard highway specifications
  • Multiple test paths across the 24-foot-wide pavement
  • Broad loading versatility with the ability to use various wheel loading configurations, loads from 9,000 lb to 30,000 lb and optional random lateral wander of the loaded wheel(s)
  • Full environmental control within the enclosed test facility to regulate air temperature, humidity, and subsurface moisture
  • Optional instrumentation to monitor pavement response to environmental changes and dynamic loading