Improving the Foundation Layers for Concrete Pavements

Quality pavement foundation layers are essential to achieving excellent pavement performance. In recent years as truck traffic has greatly increased, the foundation layers have become even more critical to successful pavement performance. Unfortunately, there are still many pavement failures in the U.S. related to inadequate subbase, natural subgrade, and embankment (commonly referred to as foundation layers or roadbed). Factors that contribute to pavement foundation problems are believed to be poor construction practices, ineffective quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) testing methods and sampling plans, material variability and unpredictable long-term material behavior, poor verification of material properties during construction, insufficient development of performance-related specifications, and low capital investment in the foundation layers. The objective of this research is to improve the construction methods, economic analysis and selection of materials, in-situ testing and evaluation, and development of performance-related specifications for the pavement foundation layers. The outcome of this study will be conclusive findings that make pavement foundations more durable, uniform, constructible, and economical. Although the focus of this research will be portland cement concrete (PCC) concrete pavement foundations, the results will likely have applicability to asphalt cement concrete (ACC) pavement foundations and, potentially, unpaved roads. All aspects of the foundation layers will be investigated including thickness, material properties, permeability, modulus/stiffness, strength, volumetric stability and durability.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $875000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

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

    Colorado Department of Transportation

    2829 W. Howard Place
    Denver, CO  United States  80204

    California Department of Transportation

    1227 O Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95814

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010

    Michigan Department of Transportation

    Van Wagoner Building
    425 W. Ottawa Street
    Lansing, MI  United States  48909

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

    Keystone Building
    400 North Street
    Harrisburg, PA  United States  17120

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    PO Box 7910
    4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 104
    Madison, WI  United States  53707-7910
  • Managing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Center for Transportation Research and Education
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
  • Project Managers:

    Clute, Khyle

  • Performing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Center for Transportation Research and Education
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
  • Principal Investigators:

    Miller, Kelly

    Roesler, Jeff

    Dawson, Andrew

    Vennapusa, Pavana

    White, David

    Cackler, Thomas

  • Start Date: 20090315
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20201231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 42092

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01570503
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(183)
  • Created Date: Jul 22 2015 1:02AM