In order to avoid the occurrence of early-age damage, cement-treated base (CTB) materials must be allowed to cure for a period of time before the pavement can be opened to traffic. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the utility of the soil stiffness gauge (SSG), heavy Clegg impact soil tester (CIST), portable falling-weight deflectometer (PFWD), dynamic cone penetrometer, and falling-weight deflectometer for assessing early-age strength gain of cement-stabilized materials. Experimentation was performed at four sites on a pavement reconstruction project along Interstate 84 near Morgan, Utah, and three sites along Highway 91 near Richmond, Utah; cement stabilization was used to construct CTB layers at both locations. Each site was stationed to facilitate repeated measurements at the same locations with different devices and at different curing times. Because of the considerable attention they have received in the pavement construction industry for routine quality control and quality assurance programs, the SSG, CIST, and PFWD were the primary focus of the research. Statistical techniques were utilized to evaluate the sensitivity to curing time, repeatability, and efficiency of these devices. In addition, the ruggedness and ease of use of each device were evaluated. The test results indicate that the CIST data were more sensitive to curing time than the SSG and PFWD data at the majority of the cement-treated sites during the first 72 hours after construction. Furthermore, the results indicate that the CIST is superior to the other instruments with respect to repeatability, efficiency, ruggedness, and ease of use. Because the CIST is less expensive than the SSG and PFWD, it is more likely to be purchased by pavement engineers and contractors involved with construction of CTBs. For these reasons, this research suggests that the CIST offers greater overall utility than the SSG or PFWD for monitoring early-age strength gain of CTB. Further research is needed to identify appropriate threshold CIST values at which CTB layers develop sufficient strength to resist permanent deformation or marring under different types of trafficking.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





cement-treated base, soil stiffness gauge, heavy clegg impact soil tester, portable falling-weight deflectometer, dynamic cone penetrometer, falling-weight deflectometer