, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
A mechanistic-based design procedure for pavements was developed under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 1-37A study, under sponsorship by AASHTO, and incorporated into the Design Guide. This represents a major change in the way pavement design is performed. It gives the designer the flexibility to consider various design features and materials for the prevailing site conditions. The mechanistic-empirical performance prediction models in the 2002 design procedure were calibrated using nationwide pavement performance data. Although MnROAD performance data were actively used in calibration, it will be necessary to perform calibrations against a wider range of Minnesota variables to achieve a practical procedure. It will also be necessary to evaluate the performance of in-service pavements to establish reasonable distress threshold criteria for use in the Guide. This study includes development of guidelines for major input parameters (traffic, material properties, subgrade characterization), comprehensive sensitivity analysis, comparison against MnPAVE and current design standards, comparison of predicted pavement performance with observed performance of pavements in Minnesota, and recalibration of performance prediction models for local conditions.