Comparison between 1993 AASHTO Pavement Design Guide and Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide with North Dakota Case Study

The rapid growth of heavy truck traffic in the oil-impacted western counties of North Dakota poses unique challenges to the highway infrastructure of a historically low-volume rural region. Repeated heavy loads, combined with areas of weak subgrade and freeze-thaw cycles, have caused many roads to fail long before their intended design life (Governing, 2011). Oilfield pavement analyses conducted thus far have utilized the empirical design methods outlined in the 1993 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for Design of Pavement Structures, based on the AASHO Road Test of the late 1950's. While the AASHTO 1993 Guide has proven an important tool for several decades, its empirical approach limits its effectiveness as a modern pavement design method. Fully understanding the performance and reliability of the new design guide is important for agencies wanting to use it. Moreover, understanding the design differences between the current design guide and the newer Mechanistic Empirical Design Guide (MEPDG) is critical for agencies interested in making the switch. The primary objective of this project is to provide a critical comparison of performance predictions for pavement designed using the 1993 AASHTO Guide against pavements designed using the new design guide, in order to better assist North Dakota agencies in making the decision whether to switch to MEPDG.


  • English


  • Status: Terminated
  • Funding: $150000
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute

    North Dakota State University
    1320 Albrecht Blvd
    Fargo, ND  United States  58105
  • Principal Investigators:

    Bratlien, Andrew

    Lu, Pan

  • Start Date: 20130930
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170930
  • Source Data: RiP Project 36652

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01528056
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC-38, 459
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 12 2014 1:00AM