CHARACTERIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF AXLE LOAD SPECTRA TO ENHANCE PAVEMENT DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE ON THE BASIS OF NEW MECHANISTIC-EMPIRICAL DESIGN GUIDE IN LOUISIANA
For pavement design practices, several factors must be considered to ensure good performance of the pavement over the anticipated life cycle. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the type of paving materials, traffic loading characteristics, prevailing environmental conditions, and others. Traditional pavement design practices have followed the standards set by the American Society of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) which require the use of an equivalent single axle load (ESAL - 18 kip single axle load) for design traffic input. Recently, a new mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) was developed to improve pavement design practices. The guide requires the use of truck axle load spectra rather than ESAL and raises the need to improve the utilization of existing traffic data sources. The axle load spectra method is different from ESAL in that traffic loading is expressed by the number of load applications of various axle configurations (single, dual, tridem, and quad) within a given weight classification range. This research study is conducted for LA DOTD to address the traffic data needs and requirements associated with the adoption of the new pavement design guide. This was achieved by reviewing the current practices of the traffic data collection process adopted by LA DOTD, and by reviewing the existing and proposed traffic data collection procedures followed by other states considering requirements specified in MEPDG. These plans describe the process to estimate the number of WIM stations needed within this state and locate the WIM stations in the appropriate truck route. Two alternative plans have been recommended that could be adopted by LADOTD for traffic data collection process. Axle weight data from 2003 through 2006 from portable WIM stations is used for developing axle load spectra required by M-EPDG.
Advisor:Shin, Hak Chul; Elseifi, Mostafa A; Ishak, Sherif S
School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport
School Location:USA - Louisiana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:civil environmental engineering
Date of Publication:11/13/2008