Calibration of the AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide to South Dakota

A Mechanistic-Empirical (M-E) pavement design system, including elements of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) models for long-term pavement performance and materials control, is currently being presented for adoption by AASHTO. The M-E design guide elements are based on NCHRP Project (1-37A) which is a coordinated and cooperative effort to improve the state of the practice for pavement design by moving design principles from empirically based methods to mechanistic-empirical procedures. The current pavement design method utilized by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) is extensively based on empirical standards developed by the AASHTO road test conducted in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Climatic limitations, advances in material science, vehicular design changes and increased volume and weight distribution of traffic have all served to make this empirical data archaic. The M-E design guide will tie together structural design, materials selection, and construction parameters assuring that design criteria have been met or exceeded. Many ranges of inputs are available in the system. Those that can be tailored to South Dakota's unique materials, traffic and climatic conditions will result in more effective and reliable pavement designs, extended pavement service life and thereby more cost effective investment decisions. SDDOT needs to determine the inputs and associated resources required to implement the M-E design guide. There needs to be a cost/benefit and sensitivity analysis conducted on the design inputs, and comparison with SDDOT's current design standard inputs. A detailed implementation plan outlining necessary resources and timeline needs to be developed once the sensitivity analysis and identification of required inputs is complete. The objectives of this research project are to: (1) Identify the requirements and resources that will be needed for SDDOT to implement the AASHTO M-E Pavement Design Guide; and (2) Develop AASHTO M-E Pavement Design implementation plan for SDDOT.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    South Dakota Department of Transportation

    Transportation Building, 700 E Broadway
    Pierre, SD  United States  57501
  • Project Managers:

    Ormesher, Daris

  • Principal Investigators:

    Zimmerman, Kathleen

  • Start Date: 20050516
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20070430
  • Source Data: RiP Project 12588

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01458290
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: South Dakota Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: SD2005-01
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 12:39PM