Gravel Road Performance Enhancements

Approximately 72,134 miles of gravel roads (39 miles state highway) exist in the 194,938-mile road network in the State of Nebraska. Two of the most common distresses for gravel roads are rutting and wash boarding. Rutting often occurs when the moisture content of gravel roads is high. These distresses are recurring across the state. The sustainability of granular roadways is very important to the rural economy since these roads provide access to rural land and enable the transportation of agricultural products. Many counties spend significant portions of their budgets on maintenance and rehabilitation of gravel roads. Opportunities exist to improve the performance of the gravel roads which would reduce the maintenance frequency and would yield significant cost savings. The proposed research project will examine several stabilization and construction methods that pose strong potential to minimize damages of gravel roads. A range of potential stabilization technologies to address these issues will be studied, including crushed rock embedment, gradation optimization, and the possible addition of angular material, and waste fines. The proposed study will conduct a comprehensive laboratory study to evaluate the efficiency of different treatment methods on improving the performance of granular road. Gravel road materials (along with the subgrades) will be collected from different locations in Nebraska that experienced significant road distresses. Data (e.g., resilient modulus, California bearing ratio (CBR), abrasion, freeze-thaw durability) will be measured and evaluated to quantify the treatment effectiveness. A primary outcome for this research is to optimize the NDOT gradation for gravel surfacing with materials that are locally sourced. In addition, this research will also develop a data-driven model to estimate the type and amount of materials to be added that would improve the performance of gravel roads via use of simple index properties


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Nebraska Department of Transportation

      1500 Nebraska 2
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68502
    • Project Managers:

      Halsey, Lieska

    • Principal Investigators:

      Cetin, Bora

      Cetin, Kristen

    • Start Date: 20220701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20250531
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01849040
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Nebraska Department of Transportation
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jun 21 2022 4:12PM