Traditional prescriptive concrete mixes are beginning to phase out in favor of Performance Engineered Mixtures for concrete pavement (PEM). Major changes include both the concrete mix design, and test procedures encountered during Quality Control and Quality Assurance. 

One highlight of PEM mix design includes optimized aggregate gradations, which fill larger voids in the aggregate structure with varying sizes of coarse aggregate. Less voids needs less cement paste, which contributes to higher durability of concrete pavements. Performance Engineered Mixes also encourage the use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), such as slag and fly ash, which are by-products of steel and coal fired power manufacturing. This combination of lower cement contents and increased SCMs helps reduce the carbon footprint of concrete significantly, all while increasing durability. 

Starting in 2024, the NYSDOT 501 concrete specification requires the use of PEM, except in the case of high early strength concrete for rapid traffic openings. 

There are a number of resources available to help our members design and test PEM concrete. They are listed below:

NYSDOT Optimized Aggregate Gradation Spreadsheet

FHWA Optimized Aggregate Gradation Spreadsheet

Tarantula Curve for Optimized Aggregate Gradation

Box Test for Slip Formed Pavements

Super Air Meter

Surface Resistivity Testing

Concrete Pavement Technology Center at Iowa State University Information on PEM


The following ACPA-NYS Chapter Members are available to conduct testing on your PEM project:

Advance Testing

Popli Design Group