Development of a Design Methodology for Geosynthetic Reinforced Pavement using Finite Element Numerical Modeling

There are five main objectives of this research project. The first is to develop finite element models to simulate the performance of geosynthetic reinforced pavements of different traffic sections, built over subgrade soils of different strength conditions, with acceptable accuracy. The second objective is to calibrate and validate the finite element (FE) models using the results of the in-box laboratory cyclic plate load tests and the results of full-scale accelerated load tests on geosynthetic-reinforced test lane sections built at the ALF site. To achieve the third objective, the team will conduct an FE parametric study to evaluate and quantify the effect of different variables and parameters contributing to the benefits and improved performance of geosynthetic reinforced pavements for different traffic sections. A sensitivity analysis will also be conducted to examine the effect of reinforced properties for a range of pavement cross sections and varying traffic loads in Louisiana. The final objective will be to develop a design methodology for geosynthetic-reinforced pavements that in general falls within the context of mechanistic-empirical pavement design guideline (MEPDG) and is compatible with procedures developed under the NCHRP 1-37A Design Guide.