SME’s integrated team of engineers and field technicians has specialized pavement expertise including testing during construction and providing pavement solutions specific to project needs.

Pavement engineering and testing encompasses all aspects of designing, building and maintaining pavement structures. Paving projects can include roads, parking lots and airport taxiways. SME’s engineers successfully test and apply technologies that will make these pavement structures safer and more cost-effective. Our engineers have in-depth knowledge of the production and behavior of paving materials, and understand how they will deteriorate under the combined effects of traffic and the environment.

During construction, we provide testing and project administration services. We are familiar with specifications from various agencies including state and federal highway departments, ASTM, FAA, FHWA, AASHTO, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Our laboratories are inspected by CCRL and AMRL, and then certified by AASHTO and the respective state departments of transportation.
SME provides a number of different test procedures to evaluate construction materials, paving materials, and finished pavements, including:

  • Review of pavement design for constructability
  • Performing mix designs, review proposed and/or existing mix designs
  • Observation of batch plant procedures and materials
  • Site testing and evaluations (subgrade, subbase base course, bituminous concrete, and concrete)
  • Laboratory testing
  • Project administration services (payment requests, material submittal, change orders, interpretation of project documents, and project meetings)
  • QA/QC services    


The performance of a pavement depends on the quality of its subgrade layer. As the foundation for the pavement’s upper layers, the subgrade helps mitigate the detrimental effects of the climate and the stresses generated by traffic. Pavement subgrade services SME’s engineers and field technicians provide include:

  • Subgrade material evaluation
  • Subgrade investigations
  • Specification of subgrade stabilization methods
  • Moisture content evaluation
  • Compaction testing
  • Proof rolling observation
  • California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test
  • Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) evaluations
  • Dynamic cone penetrometer testing

Aggregate Base

Aggregates are used in granular base and subbase layers below the driving surface in both asphalt and concrete pavement structures. The aggregate base layers serve a variety of purposes, including reducing the stress applied to the subgrade layer and providing drainage for the pavement structure. SME’s team establishes and monitors aggregate quality by performing such tests as gradation analysis, specific gravity, absorption, soundness, freeze-thaw, abrasion, deleterious substances, and acid solubility.

SME’s laboratories are certified and trained in the following testing services:

  • Sieve analyses
  • Soundness of aggregate
  • L.A. abrasion
  • Specific gravity of aggregates
  • Unit weight of fine or coarse aggregate
  • Organic impurities
  • Aggregate gradation
  • Maximum density of aggregate
  • Deleterious pick
  • Crushed content
  • Shrinkage


SME’s asphalt testing services group evaluates asphalt binders, mixtures and other derivatives geared for use in the construction pavement industry. Our team of engineers and technicians maintain a high level of proficiency through experience, certifications and laboratory accreditations. They are knowledgeable in durability, adaptability to fast track construction, and proper performance of asphalt. Our services include:

  • Measurements of asphalt pavement thickness
  • Asphalt binder tests
  • Testing of asphalt emulsions and cutbacks
  • Evaluation of hot mix asphalt
  • Testing viscosity of the asphalt
  • Testing of aggregates


SME provides a full-range of services during concrete pavement projects, including:

  • Preparation and review of material specifications
  • Review of existing mix design for constructability
  • Mix design and production testing
  • Inspection of batch plants
  • Testing and observation during placement
  • Monitoring of specification compliance


  • Rebar placement reviews for appropriate size, number and placement location
  • Detecting rebar locations in hardened concrete
  • Specifications review
  • Forensic evaluation

Dowel Pull-Out

  • Evaluation of dowel misalignment in concrete
  • Evaluation of dowel fatigue or debonding
  • Determination of types of stresses
  • Evaluation of dowel durability and load transfers
  • Determination of pull-out forces

Plastic Concrete

  • Thickness sampling/testing
  • Slump/air content sampling/testing
  • Unit weight testing
  • Temperature testing
  • Compressive/flexural strength testing

Related Services

Service Experts

Jason A. Schwartzenberger, PE

Vice President
Pavement-Design Services

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