Quieter Pavements

Quieter pavement is a new concept for the construction or rehabilitation of roadway surfaces intended to reduce the impacts that tire/pavement noise has on the highway environment. The goal of Caltrans Quieter Pavement Research Plan is to identify and provide the surface treatments, materials, design specifications, and construction methods that will result in an ever-quieter roadway that is also safe, durable, and cost-effective.

Quality Matters

Although additional data are being collected, there does appear to be a correlation between the quality of pavement construction and noise performance.

Recent Pavement Policy Bulletins


  • Typical Noise Levels
  • Fundamentals of Highway Traffic Noise with audio and notes
    • Sound vs. Noise (Section 6)
    • Sound Frequency (Section 11)
    • Sound Pressure (Sections 18, 19, 20 & 21)
    • Sound Pressure Levels and Decibels (Sections 23 & 24)
    • Frequency Spectra and Frequency Bands (Section 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 & 50)
    • Typical Noise Levels (See also Section 51)
    • Human Reaction to Noise (Section 74 & 75)


Recent Reports

Department Divisions

Division of Environmental Analysis (DEA)

Division of Design (DOD)