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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design: Materials Testing of Resilient and Dynamic Modulus
Project Researcher: Lance Roberts, SDSM&T
Project Manager: Christina Bennett
Research Period: 7/25/2008 - 12/31/2009
Status: Approved
Cost: $59,355.00

Problem Statement: The Asphalt Research Consortium (ARC), funded through SAFETEA-LU, has received subsidies to assist state transportation agencies in designing and constructing flexible pavement sections in accordance with the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (M-E/PDG). M-E pavement design and construction can be performed by ARC on up to 2 projects in South Dakota. A primary element of the work efforts will be to obtain roadway subgrade, base course, and pavement aggregate samples to conduct tests of materials properties and then use the results as inputs for the M-E pavement design process. Materials testing will be conducted under the direction of Dr. Peter Sebally in materials laboratory facilities at the University of Nevada-Reno.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) recently completed Research Project SD2005-01, "Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide Implementation Plan", as a first step toward implementing the M-E pavement design process at the Department. The duly defined SDDOT Technical Implementation Group (TIG) regards the work to be performed under ARC as an effective means to begin testing and validating M-E design processes in South Dakota. As a matter of practicality, the TIG would also like to have materials tests performed in parallel with Dr. Sebaaly`s testing by means of Simple Performance Testing (SPT) equipment recently acquired by the Civil Engineering Department at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T). The primary purposes of the parallel testing would be to calibrate the new SPT at SDSM&T, and also to begin gaining familiarity and developing expertise within the state where testing resilient modulus (Mr) and dynamic modulus of the construction materials for pavement design processes is concerned.

In addition to the work to be performed by Dr. Sebaaly, the SDDOT recognizes that additional materials testing could be performed with the SPT at SDSM&T for several other hot mix asphalt (HMA) paving projects that will be ongoing around the state. The primary purpose would be to begin developing datasets of Mr and dynamic modulus values for all construction materials that could ultimately be incorporated into a database and utilized as input variables for future M-E pavement design processes.


Research Objectives:
1  Obtain Mr and dynamic modulus values of construction materials on HMA paving projects through tests performed with a Simple Performance Tester at SDSM&T to correlate, calibrate, and validate these results from the new SPT through comparative analyses
2  Obtain Mr and dynamic modulus values of construction materials through tests performed with the Simple Performance Tester at SDSM&T on other HMA paving projects and typical soils types around the state to validate resultant data relative to the crite
3  Gain an assessment, jointly with the SDDOT Technical Implementation Group, on the possible need for ultimate acquisition of SPT or other materials testing equipment by the Department.

Research Tasks:
1  Review M-E/PDG testing criteria for gaining Mr values of subgrade and base course, and dynamic modulus values of pavement aggregate materials relative to the design and construction of roadway projects. The sensitivity analyses performed during resea
2  Meet with appropriate members of the Technical Implementation Group for M-E pavement design implementation at the SDDOT to review the scope of work, delivery schedules for materials samples, and corresponding materials testing plans.
3  Review testing procedures and coordinate with Dr. Peter Sebaaly at the University of Nevada-Reno concerning materials testing protocols, methodologies, and training or certification requirements of lab testing technicians for work that will be perfor
4  Concurrent to materials tests performed at the U. of Nevada-Reno, perform parallel materials tests with the SPT at SDSM&T, compare and analyze results, and perform any refinements as necessary. The work will involve 2 separate highway projects and in
5  Prepare an interim report that presents the findings of Tasks 1-4 and then meet with appropriate SDDOT/TIG members for review and discussion.
6  Perform HMA pavement materials tests with the SPT for dynamic modulus and asphalt flow number/flow time, whereby:

  • One (1) HMA sample will be collected at 20 construction projects, maximum.

  • One sample will be furnished for 10 di
    8  Perform statistical analyses to evaluate all test results obtained from the HMA pavement materials and soils tests, and prepare the findings for review and approval of SDDOT/TIG members.
    9  Prepare a final report that presents the testing approaches, findings, conclusions, and recommendations about the possible future acquisition of SPT equipment by the SDDOT, and also including all resultant data from the HMA pavement materials and soi
    10  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the work efforts.

    Documents Available:

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