A Pavement Structural Capacity Index for Use in Network-level Evaluation of Asphalt Pavements

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Virginia Tech

The objective of this research was to develop a structural index for use in network-level pavement evaluation, which facilitates the inclusion of the pavements structural condition in many pavement management applications. The primary goal of network-level pavement management is to maintain an acceptable condition of the pavements within the network using available, and often limited, resources. Pavement condition is described in terms of functional and structural condition, and the current widespread practice is to only consider the functional condition during network-level evaluation. This practice results in treatments that are often under-designed or over-designed when considered in more detail at the project-level. The disagreement may be reduced by considering the structural capacity of the pavements as part of the network-level decision process.

This research was conducted by identifying various structural indices, choosing an appropriate index, and then applying data from the state of Virginia to modify the index and show example application for the index. It was concluded that the Modified Structural Index best met the research objectives. Project-level and network level data were used to conduct a sensitivity analysis on the index, and example applications were presented. The results indicated that the inclusion of the Modified Structural Index into the network-level decision process minimized the errors between network-level and project-level decisions, when compared to the current network-level decision making process. Furthermore, the Modified Structural Index could be used in various pavement management applications, such as network-level structural screening, and developing structural performance measures.

pavement structural capacity, Pavement evaluation, performance prediction, pavement distresses, pavement management