Load Testing of Instrumented Pavement Sections

Principal Investigator(s):

Mark Snyder, Former University Researcher, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • David Newcomb, Former University Researcher, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
  • Henryk Stolarski, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

Effective pavement design requires an understanding of how loads of differing magnitudes and configurations affect the performance of pavement structures. Current empirically derived load-performance models might be replaced by mechanistic structural models and the Minnesota Road Research Project is an ideal facility for calibrating such mechanistic models. The objectives of the proposed study include the identification of structural models that most accurately predict pavement behavior and response to vehicle loads under various climatic conditions, and the development of a rational or mechanistic basis for assigning load equivalency factors that considers pavement structural parameters and their seasonal variations, load magnitude and configuration, vehicle speed and associated dynamic loading effects, vehicle wander (lateral distribution of loads), etc. This work will be accomplished through: a review available relevant literature; development of a detailed project work and analysis plan; load testing of selected instrumented flexible and rigid pavement sections at MnROAD during a range of seasonal conditions with actual and simulated vehicle loads representing a range of load ranges, axle configurations and vehicle speeds; analysis of the data; use of the data to validate the selected structural models; and the development of mechanistically-derived vehicle load equivalency factors.

Project details:

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