Technical Assistance to NCHRP and NCHRP Project 1-40A: Versions 0.9 and 1.0 of the M-E Pavement Design Software

At the request of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Joint Task Force on Pavements (JTFP), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) initiated Project 1-37A in 1996 to develop a guide for the design of new and rehabilitated pavement structures. In contrast to the current AASHTO Guide for Design of Pavement Structures, the guide recommended in 2004 by the Project 1-37A research team is based on mechanistic-empirical (M-E) principles; provides a uniform basis for the design of flexible, rigid, and composite pavements; and employs common design parameters for traffic, subgrade, environment, and reliability. Many pavement designers at state departments of transportation (DOT) may not be familiar with the concepts incorporated in the recommended mechanistic-empirical (M-E) pavement design guide. Also, the recommended guide incorporates numerous relationships between traffic loading, climatic conditions, material characteristics, and distress modes and ranges that have been verified with field data from different parts of the United States, and thus represents a nationally-valid analysis approach; these relationships could be refined to better reflect regional and local conditions, materials, and practices. A key component of the JTFP's plan for implementation and adoption of the recommended M-E pavement design guide and software is an independent, third-party review to test the design guide's underlying assumptions, evaluate its engineering reasonableness and design reliability, and identify opportunities for its implementation in day-to-day design production work. Beyond this immediate requirement, there is a need for a coordinated effort to acquaint state DOT pavement designers with the principles and concepts employed in the recommended guide, assist them with the interpretation and use of the guide and its software and technical documentation, develop step-by-step procedures to help state DOT engineers calibrate distress models on the basis of local and regional conditions for use in the recommended guide, and perform other activities to facilitate its acceptance and adoption. The objectives of this project were to (1) work in coordination with the contractor for Project 1-40D(01) to produce improved, corrected version 0.9 of the M-E Pavement Design Guide software and (2) provide ongoing troubleshooting support for NCHRP and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The United States climatic files developed for the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) are available from the NCHRP ftp site by following these instructions: (1) Go to the internet. Windows Explorer is recommended. (2) Specify site in the Address Bar. (3) Open the folder named "MEPDG climatic files" and download the folder named climatic files.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 1-40D(02)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Performing Organizations:

    Applied Research Associates, Incorporated

    811 Spring Forest Road, Suite 100
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27609-9199
  • Principal Investigators:

    Darter, Michael

  • Start Date: 20051025
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20111231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 11730

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01548208
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 1-40D(02)
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 18 2014 1:01AM