Evaluation of LTPP Climatic Data for Use in MEPDG Calibration and Other Pavement Analysis

Climate is a major factor influencing the performance of pavements and pavement materials. Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) has performed pioneering work to characterize and summarize site-specific climatic data for its General Pavement Studies (GPS) and Specific Pavement Studies (SPS) test sections. However, improvements in climatic data collection are needed to support current and future research on climate effects on pavement materials, design, and performance. The calibration and enhancement of the new Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG—AASHTO, 2008) is just one example of these emerging needs. To address these needs, this study is designed around the following objectives: (1) Examine current and emerging needs in climate data collection and engineering indices for use in MEPDG calibration, changes in Superpave binder performance grading, and development of future mechanistic based infrastructure management including pavement, bridge, and other types of asset management models. (2) Develop a methodology for characterizing location-specific historic climate indices that includes temporal changes in the position and measurement characteristics of the operating weather stations (OWS) used for the computation. This new methodology will include an estimate of the variability or uncertainty caused by the spatial averaging process used to develop the baseline indices. (3) Apply this new methodology to update the climate statistics in the LTPP database. (4) Examine the need to add a climate-soils parameter such as the Thornthwaite Moisture Index (TMI) to the LTPP database. Examine the applicability of TMI to other transportation infrastructure applications. (5) Examine the need for continued location-specific solar radiation measurements to capture the effect of climate change on pavement and other infrastructure performance. Determine if other existing data sources can be used to fulfill this need.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
    McLean, VA  USA 
  • Project Managers:

    Wiser, Larry

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Maryland, College Park

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    1173 Glenn Martin Hall
    College Park, MD  USA  20742

    MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Incorporated

    12104 Indian Creek Court, Suite A
    Beltsville, MD  USA  20705-1242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Schwartz, Charles

  • Start Date: 20110518
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130517
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28619

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463460
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-11-C-00030
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:24PM