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About the Test Track

The NCAT Test Track is a national research proving ground for asphalt pavements. Highway agencies and industry sponsors fund research on the 1.7-mile oval in 200-foot test sections. This real-world laboratory allows for cutting-edge experimentation while avoiding the risk of failure on actual roadways. In a step to play a larger role in pavement research, NCAT has also partnered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation's MnROAD facility to focus on two important national issues that impact each agency: pavement preservation and validation of cracking tests.

Test Track by the Numbers

Since its original construction in 2000, findings from this unique resource have improved aggregate and binder characteristics, asphalt pavement specifications and mix design policies, and the research will continue to pay dividends for years to come.

Accelerated Pavement Testing

The NCAT Test Track is the only facility that simultaneously tests numerous instrumented pavements under real environmental conditions with accelerated loading. Our fleet applies over a decade of interstate-type traffic in only two years, and each driver circles the track approximately 200 times per day in order to damage experimental pavements.


2018-2020 Research Cycle Highlights