Field monitoring and modeling of pavement response and service life consumption due to overweight truck traffic



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Texas A&M University


A number of pavement structures experience deterioration due to high traffic volume and growing weights. Recently, the Texas Legislatures passed bills allowing trucks of gross vehicle weight (GVW) up to 556 kN routinely to use a route in south Texas along the Mexican border. Thus, there is a need to model pavement responses due to various types of overweight truck traffic (OTT) by taking into account axle loads, configuration, and pavement layer material characterizations in order to provide a guideline to assess the existing pavement performance and expected service life. It is for this purpose that the nonlinear cross-anisotropic pavement analysis finite element program (NCPA) has been developed. Stress dependent and directionally different resilient modulus and Poisson's ratios are incorporated into the finite element formulation to model the pavement response. As a tool to assess the performance of the pavement, the procedure to calculate the overall rutting and the cracked area was included in the formulation Intensive nondestructive testing has been performed to identify the existing pavement test section geometry and layer properties. In addition, a fiber optic based Weigh-in Motion (WIM) sensor was developed and tested. It is expected to be a promising device to monitor traffic by showing a reliable response. Sampled materials from the test section were tested to characterize their stress-dependent, cross-anisotropic and permanent deformation properties.
Constitutive models are verified by comparing the predicted displacements with field displacements measured with the Multi-Depth Deflectometer (MDD). The result was that the least error between predicted and measured displacements is generated by the nonlinear cross-anisotropic model. In addition, the cross-anisotropic characteristic of the asphalt concrete material is introduced and evaluated based on the relationship between the backcalculated static and dynamic modulus. This addition improves the accuracy of the assessment of pavement performance with respect to both rutting and fatigue cracking. Charts to evaluate the service life of the existing pavement subjected to OTTs are established in terms of the unit service life consumed due to the rutting and fatigue cracking with the various observed combinations of pavement geometry, traffic load, and material properties.