RES2020-13: MEPDG Climate Data Input for the State of TN

The Pavement Mechanistic Empirical Design (PMED) method was developed to address shortcomings experienced on the AASHTO Guide for Design of Pavement Structures (1993) including environmental/climate considerations. However, the implementation of PMED requires a large number of design inputs that characterize materials, traffic, and climatic conditions. This project was conducted to address the PMED climate input data for the state of Tennessee. Two climatic data sources were considered, North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), and Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application (MERRA). First, the sensitivity analysis using 2k factorial design method considering lower and higher extremes of each climatic input and water table was performed to determine climatic inputs sensitive to pavement distresses. Then, Virtual Weather stations(VWSs) were created, and their predicted performance was analyzed in comparison to the existing stations. Lastly, the performance analysis of NARR and MERRA climatic data sources considered pavement distress predictions, and surface layer optimization. On sensitivity analysis of the EICM model, temperature was the most sensitive climatic input in PMED distress predictions, while humidity had no effect to pavement distress predictions. Performance evaluation of PMED VWSs indicated a significant difference in some of the predicted distresses when comparing PMED VWSs and MERRA stations at identical locations. The performance analysis of NARR and MERRA climatic data sources using surface layer optimization, indicated that MERRA optimized surface layer thicknesses were not significantly different from the original surfaces, while NARR and input Levels 2 and 3 thicknesses were significantly different from the original layer thicknesses.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $198680
  • Contract Numbers:

    RES2020-13

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Tennessee Department of Transportation

    James K. Polk Building
    Fifth and Deaderick Street
    Nashville, TN  United States  37243-0349
  • Managing Organizations:

    Tennessee Department of Transportation

    James K. Polk Building
    Fifth and Deaderick Street
    Nashville, TN  United States  37243-0349
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

    615 McCallie Avenue, Department 4905
    Chattanooga, TN  United States  37403
  • Principal Investigators:

    Onyango, Mbakisya

  • Start Date: 20190801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220131
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: Transportation, Planning, Research, and Development

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01832138
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Tennessee Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: RES2020-13
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 30 2021 9:22AM