Investigation on Pavement ME Design Reflective Cracking, Faulting, IRI Prediction Models, Concrete Overlays Design Tool, and Performance Threshold Levels for Iowa Pavement Systems

The primary objectives of this research are (1) to investigate reflective cracking predictive models for Iowa highway pavements by evaluating and calibrating the recently integrated mechanistic-based reflective cracking model in Pavement ME Design and (2) to establish and recommend Iowa pavement performance threshold levels. An Iowa reflective cracking performance database will be developed and prepared by using the Iowa DOT Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) and other available resources (i.e., distress images, material testing records, previous project reports relevant to Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) implementation in Iowa, etc.) By using the prepared Iowa reflective cracking performance database, the reflective cracking predictive models in Pavement ME Design will be calibrated for Iowa conditions by identifying and evaluating various optimization approaches. This will also necessitate local calibration of Pavement ME Design composite pavement International Roughness Index (IRI) prediction model coefficients. The pavement performance threshold levels for Iowa highway pavement systems will be identified and recommended to the Iowa DOT by executing a comprehensive literature review, survey/interview of SHAs pavement engineers across the nation, and historical performance analysis of representative Iowa pavement sections.