Develop System to Render Mechanistic-Empirical Traffic Data for Pavement Design

Axle load spectra or axle load distribution factors are used as the primary traffic data input for the Mechanistic-Empirical (ME) pavement design methods for predicting the impacts of varying traffic loads on pavements with a higher degree of accuracy. Ideally, to ensure optimal pavement structural design, site-specific traffic load spectra data - generated from weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems - should be used during the pavement design process. However, due to the limited number of available permanent WIM stations in Texas, it is not feasible to generate a statewide axle load spectra database for every highway or project from WIM data. One possible alternative method for generating American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)/ME design-ready traffic data is cluster analysis. This is the process of grouping the available WIM traffic data into clusters of similar characteristics and then tying project specific traffic stream characteristics to these clusters. Another possible method for generating project specific axle load spectra data is to deploy the portable WIM systems to collect WIM traffic data from the intended highway location. However, research shall include a thorough evaluation before applying these methods to address Texas’ needs. Therefore, this study shall find/develop alternate methods for generating AASHTO/ME design-ready traffic data for pavement design. A work plan shall address the following goals: To review the state of the practice methodologies used by other agencies and recommend best practices for generating AASHTO/ME design-ready traffic data; To develop a ‘cluster analysis’ methodology for reliably predicting project-specific ME-compatible traffic loading data for highway locations where nearby permanent WIM stations are not available; To explore the feasibility of applying portable WIM systems for generating project-specific ME-compatible traffic data.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $199990
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Odell, Wade

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Walubita, Lubinda

  • Start Date: 20160901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626217
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6940
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 17 2017 3:27PM