The current pavement design method utilized by the SDDOT is extensively based on empirical standards developed by the AASHO road test conducted in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Climatic limitations, advances in material science, vehicular design changes and increased volume and weight distribution of traffic have all served to make this empirical data archaic.
The M-E design guide will tie together structural design, materials selection, and construction parameters assuring that design criteria have been met or exceeded. Many ranges of inputs are available in the system. Those that can be tailored to South Dakotas unique materials, traffic and climatic conditions will result in more effective and reliable pavement designs, extended pavement service life and thereby more cost effective investment decisions.
SDDOT needs to determine the inputs and associated resources required to implement the M-E design guide. There needs to be a cost/benefit and sensitivity analysis conducted on the design inputs, and comparison with SDDOTs current design standard inputs. A detailed implementation plan outlining necessary resources and timeline needs to be developed once the sensitivity analysis and identification of required inputs is complete.