Materials Testing for Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) Technical Implementation Group (TIG) for the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (M-E/PDG) implementation efforts at the Department is announcing the initiation of resilient modulus (Mr) and dynamic modulus testing of construction materials for asphalt concrete pavement design. The efforts will be undertaken by means of a contract with the Civil Engineering Department at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) whereby newly acquired Simple Performance Testing (SPT) equipment will be used to conduct the work. The initial focus will be the calibration of the new SPT at SDSM&T. Additionally, the development of expertise within the State of South Dakota in regard to the testing of Mr and dynamic modulus of asphalt concrete construction materials for M-E/PDG design processes will be prompted. In due course, the ultimate objective will be to begin developing datasets of Mr and dynamic modulus values for all asphalt concrete construction materials that could ultimately be incorporated into a database and utilized as input variables for future M-E pavement design processes. In addition to the work to be performed by SDSM&T, the TIG is looking to have actual M-E pavement design and construction performed on up to 2 asphalt concrete projects in South Dakota in the near future. The Asphalt Research Consortium (ARC), funded through SAFETEA-LU, has received subsidies to assist state transportation agencies in M-E design and construction techniques and the TIG would like to take advantage of the opportunity. The M-E design efforts would be conducted under the direction of Dr. Peter Sebaaly at the University of Nevada-Reno. The SDDOT would be responsible for obtaining roadway subgrade, base course, and pavement aggregate samples to be tested at U. of Nevada-Reno lab facilities for the corresponding M-E pavement design processes. Finally, the two activities described above have some common purposes in being able to relate materials testing results from 2 separate lab facilities utilizing different personnel and equipment. The parallel work should produce data that could be analyzed and compared relative to accuracy, validity, and efficacy of derived data, and thus aid the TIG to better assess the long-term impacts of employing these M-E/PDG materials testing and design concepts.