RES2023-26: Field Performance Testing and Evaluation of the Constructed Inverted Pavements in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has been exploring inverted pavement technology for its potential for significant cost benefits compared to conventional flexible pavement. This research, initiated due to TDOT's interest in the potential cost and performance advantages of inverted pavement yet cautious about its statewide implementation without thorough validation, has led to in-depth findings. A previous study (RES2020-12) demonstrated that inverted pavements exhibit enhanced resistance to cracking and deformation. This research conducted a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of a test section in Chattanooga, constructed as an industrial service road for Volkswagen, allowing for an in-depth engagement from construction through to the operational phase. This setup facilitated direct data collection and analysis, comparing the performance of inverted pavement structures against conventional pavements under the same traffic and environmental conditions. Despite the limited time frame, which did not allow the appearance of significant signs of distress, the research team employed AASHTOWare Pavement ME software for performance prediction and cost analysis of both pavement types. This was supported by rigorous testing methodologies, including Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) scanning, Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) measurements, and field coring to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the predictive analysis. The research further implemented ride quality assessments using the Mean Roughness Index (MRI) and conducted a detailed cost analysis using the Estimated Uniform Annual Cost (EUAC) formula. These analyses revealed that inverted pavements, despite their relatively thinner layers, could offer equivalent performance and better cost-efficiency, thus presenting a viable alternative to conventional pavement structures. The findings advocate for the potential wider adoption of inverted pavement technology in Tennessee, underlining its durability, cost savings, and environmental sustainability advantages.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $95500
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Tennessee Department of Transportation

    James K. Polk Building
    Fifth and Deaderick Street
    Nashville, TN  United States  37243-0349
  • Managing Organizations:

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Center for Transportation Research
    Conference Center Building
    Knoxville, TN  United States  37996-4133
  • Project Managers:

    Sampson, Udeh

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Knoxville, TN  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Huang, Baoshan

  • Start Date: 20221231
  • Expected Completion Date: 20231130
  • Actual Completion Date: 20240530
  • USDOT Program: Highway and Transportation Data
  • USDOT Program: Transportation Performance Management, Asset Management, and Maintenance
  • Subprogram: ADS

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01920632
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Tennessee Department of Transportation
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 7 2024 2:21PM