, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
A new Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) was recently proposed in the United States. The development of such a procedure was conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) under sponsorship by the AASHTO. The Design Guide is a significant innovation in the way pavement design is performed.
A comprehensive evaluation of the MEPDG performance predictions was conducted. It was found that the faulting model produced acceptable predictions, while the cracking model had to be adjusted. The cracking model was re-calibrated using the design and performance data for 65 pavement sections located in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. A prototype of the catalog of recommended design features for Minnesota low volume PCC pavements was developed using the MEPDG version 0.910. The catalog offers a variety of feasible design alternatives (PCC and base thickness, joint spacing and PCC slab width, edge support type, and dowel diameter) for a given combination of site conditions (traffic, location, and subgrade type). It is recognized, however, that version 0.910 is not the final version of the MEPDG. Therefore, the catalog should be updated after the MEPDG software is finalized.