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Evaluation of Some Key Assumptions of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide and Quantification of Its Impact on Prediction Accuracy

Project Information

Project ID: 
FHWA-PROJ-09-0010
Project Status: 
Completed
Start Date: 
Friday, March 20, 2009
End Date: 
Monday, March 29, 2010
FHWA Program: 
Infrastructure
FHWA Subprogram: 
Pavement and Materials
FHWA Topics: 
Research/Technologies--FHWA Research and Technology; Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms: 
Pavement Design; Structural Analysis; Infrastructure; Research; Pavements; Fatigue Cracking; Pavement Performance
FHWA Discipline: 
Pavement and Materials
TRB Subject Area: 
Pavements

Contact Information

First Name: 
Nadarajah (Siva)
Last Name: 
Sivaneswaran
Telephone: 
(202) 493-3147
Team: 
Infrastructure Analysis and Construction Team
Office:
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 
HRDI-20

Project Details

Project Description: 

This is a continuation of Fiscal Year 2009 activity 1036. As part of a graduate research fellowship project in Fiscal Year 2008 and the ongoing Fiscal Year 2009 activity, a stand-alone application incorporating relevant portions of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide flexible pavement analysis procedures was developed to conduct independent evaluations of some of the key Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide assumptions. Fiscal Year 2009 efforts evaluated the effect of loading frequency computation on Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide rutting and bottom-up fatigue cracking predictions for flexible pavements. A draft report of this evaluation has been developed and is being reviewed. Efforts are continuing on evaluating the effect of change in layer moduli due to accumulated damage on the predicted pavement performance. The Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide currently accounts for aging effects but not for accumulated damage and resulting weakening of the pavement structure. Fiscal Year 2010 activities will continue this evaluation and will also explore other recursive algorithms to account for damage accumulation on predicted distress. In addition, efforts will focus on evaluating the effect of level 1 versus level 3 inputs on design reliability using the simulation-based reliability approach that was developed. The current reliability procedure in the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide is not capable of accounting for the improved reliability of inputs in the predicted output. This hinders a more reliable design through accurate input parameter estimation and quality control efforts and relies on the thickening of pavement structure.

Deliverables

Deliverable Name: 
Technical papers reviewed and published in peer-reviewed journals
Deliverable Type: 
Technical report
Deliverable Description: 
Thyagarajan, S., Sivaneswaran, N., Muhunthan, B. and Petros, K. “Statistical Analysis of Critical Input Parameters in Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide”, 85th Annual Meeting and Technical Sessions of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, Sacramento, California, March 7-10, 2010 Thyagarajan, S., Sivaneswaran, N., Muhunthan, B. and Petros, K. “An Evaluation of the Effects of Nonlinear Load-Strain Behavior on MEPDG Analysis of Flexible Pavements”, 84th Annual Meeting and Technical Sessions of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 15-18, 2009