Incorporation of Reliability in Minnesota Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design

Principal Investigator(s):

David Newcomb, Former University Researcher, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Ted Galambos, Former University Researcher, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

This project will quantify estimates of the variability associated with input parameters for mechanistic-empirical pavement design. Once these estimates of central tendencies and dispersion have been made, they will be used in Monte Carlo simulations with layered elastic theory to quantify the effects of input variability on the variability of pavement responses. These, in turn, will be used to assess the effects on the design life variability of different pavement systems. Finally, the design life variability will be used to define the reliability of pavement systems according to the materials, layer thicknesses and projected traffic. The result will be an integration of reliability into the mechanistic pavement design process. Quantifying conservatism by using reliability allows engineers to make a conscious decision on the degree of conservatism to be used in design. The degree of risk associated with a specific design and its alternatives can be weighed against the expense. Furthermore, the research effort in this project would complement the current effort to develop a mechanistic-empirical design procedure.

Project details: