Development of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) Inputs for Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA)

Effective January 1st, 2018 VDOT adopted AASHTOWare Pavement ME as its official pavement design procedure for new, reconstruction, and lane widening projects on primary, interstate, and high volume secondary (> 10,000 AADT). The Mechanistic- Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) procedure uses mechanistic models to compute stress, strain, and deformations in pavement structures and transfer functions to predict pavement distresses in terms of cracking, rutting, and pavement smoothness. The proposed study aims to better represent expected field performance of Virginia’s premium mixes within the mechanistic-empirical pavement design context. It will compare specific field performance indicators of stone matrix asphalt (SMA)/polymer-modified mixtures with conventional dense graded Superpave mixes from within VDOT’s Pavement Management System data. The project will then use these comparisons to refine and/or develop input data for use in the MEPDG that better reflects the field performance of these premium materials.