General Motors Vehicle Dynamics Test Area Reconstruction

Milford, MI

The General Motors (GM) Milford Proving Ground is a renowned testing facility responsible for product development and durability testing for GM’s North American and global products. In 2022, Angelo Iafrate Construction undertook the reconstruction of the primary pad at the Milford Proving Grounds’ Vehicle Dynamics Test Area (VDTA). To facilitate this ambitious undertaking, PEA Group was engaged to provide civil engineering, conceptual design, topographic surveying, construction administration, and construction materials testing. Additionally, Cadillac Asphalt played a pivotal role in the paving process, ensuring the pad’s optimal functionality.

Referred to as “Black Lake,” this expansive 67-acre blacktop pad serves as a testing ground for various vehicular dynamics, including traction control, stability control, and braking. Additionally, the pad can be strategically moistened to function as a skidpad, simulating wet driving conditions.

During the design process, significant removals were made, including 2,875,000 square feet of asphalt pavement and 17,600 feet of corrugated metal pipe underdrain. For installed utilities, PEA Group’s design included 2,800 feet of corrugated plastic pipe (CPP) storm sewer, 19,000 feet of perforated CPP underdrain, along with 1,400 tons of pea gravel. To further improve the infrastructure, we replaced the water main, spanning 4,200 feet, while also incorporating conduit for power and fiber. This upgrade was necessary to enhance the wetting systems in the basalt tile, traction hill, and ceramic tile testing areas.

To level the base surface, we utilized 16,000 tons of supplemental 21AA aggregate base. The test track was repaved in three layers, utilizing nearly 90,000 tons of asphalt.

The newly reconstructed Black Lake now offers ample area for a variety of vehicle dynamics testing including chassis controls tests such as steering while braking, braking in a turn, and accelerating in a turn.

General Motors
Project Type
  • Civil Engineering
  • Land Surveying
  • Construction Material Testing
  • Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan, Cat 10 - Special/Challenging Projects, Award of Excellence