Field Performance Monitoring and Modeling of Instrumented Pavement on I-35 in McClain County
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Phase 1 of this project was conducted to better understand the cause of pavement failure under actual traffic loading and environmental conditions. A 1,000-ft. long experimental pavement section was constructed on I-35 in McClain County and was instrumented for field data collection. The test section was designed to fail in a relatively short period of time under heavy interstate traffic. After approximately four years (from 2008 to 2012) of exposure to continuous interstate traffic and environment, the test section experienced significant rutting but no fatigue cracking. Therefore, the funding agency decided to monitor the test section for two additional years (from 2012 to 2014) as part of Phase 2 of the project. Additionally, a need for predicting distresses (i.e., rut, based on the site-specific data) using the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) software was expressed. In Phase 2 of this project, the quarterly field testing (FWD, rut measurements, roughness measurements, and crack mapping) was performed on a quarterly basis. Also, the weekly downloading of traffic data and data processing were performed to allow updating of the rut prediction models developed in Phase 1 of this study. Site-specific (Level 1) input parameters for traffic, climate and materials were developed in this study. Furthermore, the rut prediction models in the MEPDG software were calibrated using the developed input parameters and measured rut depths from the test section. Laboratory tests (Hamburg rut, four point beam fatigue, volumetric properties, etc.) were performed on the extracted samples from the test section. Moreover, the contribution of different pavement layers to total rutting was assessed by a forensic investigation involving cutting full-depth trenches at three selected locations of the test section.