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Mechanistic-Empirical Evaluation of Pavement Damage and Cost Attributed to Overweight Single-Trip and Multi-Trip Scenarios in Nevada
AuthorBatioja-Alvarez, Dario D.
AdvisorHajj, Elie Y.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
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The movement of overweight (OW) vehicles has become more common over the years dueto its vital necessity for many important industries such as chemical, oil, defense, etc. UsingOW vehicles reduces the number of vehicles on highways, potentially decreasing trafficcongestion and emissions. However, the operation of large and heavy vehicles can lead toa speedy deterioration of the roadway system; hence necessitating additional resources tomaintain the conditions of roadway pavements at an acceptable level.This dissertation presents an approach that allows the estimation of pavementdamage associated costs (PDAC) attributable to OW vehicle moves. The PDAC can beestimated for different OW axle loadings and configurations with due considerations givento locally-calibrated pavement distress models, existing pavement condition, differentpavement repair options, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The approach uses the sameinformation currently requested by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT)during the OW permit application process and provides a realistic methodology to assesspavement damage from single-trip and multi-trip OW scenarios. In the methodology, thedamage from OW vehicles is compared to that caused by a standard vehicle. It should benoted that the costs associated to the pavement damage caused by lighter vehicles grossvehicle weight (GVW) up to 80,000 lb. is assumed to be already covered by fuel taxes andwill be reflected in a PDAC of zero dollars.In the calculation of PDAC, the remaining service life (RSL) of the pavement wasconsidered, a RSL of one representing a new pavement section. The RSL is a directmultiplier of PDAC and it is used to consider the current condition of the pavement at thetime of the move. Consequently, lower PDACs will be estimated for an OW pass occurring iiion a pavement section with lower remaining life (i.e., a pavement section that has alreadybeen subjected to a percentage of its original design traffic).As part of this study a ten-year NDOT over-dimensional permit database containing367,595 entries was analyzed. Along with the ten-year permit database, thousands of actualover-dimensional permit forms which described GVW and the entire axle and loadconfigurations of the permitted vehicles were analyzed. The purpose of the analysis wasthe identification and classification of trends, GVW, axle loads/tire loads and otherimportant characteristics of the OW movements in Nevada. This analysis enabled thedesign of a comprehensive experimental plan of pavement analyses required to model OWvehicles under the different loading, pavement temperature, and speed conditions found inNevada.In the development of the PDAC methodology, relationships between the ACdynamic modulus master curve parameters and the respective pavement responses atvarious locations within the structure were taken into consideration. In fact, master curvesof pavement responses were constructed using the same non-linear models used in theconstruction of the sigmoidal dynamic modulus master curve. The effect of pavementtemperature, vehicle speed, and axle load level were considered in the development of 3Dsurfacecontaining entire maps of pavement responses shifted at selected temperatures.The presented methodology provides useful ways to assess pavement damage fromOW vehicles, eliminating the need for conducting individual deterministic pavementanalysis assessments. Through comparative analysis, it was found that the proposedmethodology produces PDAC values that are comparable to those levied by other statehighway agencies (SHAs) that implement distance and weight-distance fee structures. It ivwas also estimated that the PDAC methodology could produce significant increase inrevenue when assuming average input values. However, such increase in revenue is mostlyassociated with OW vehicles in the heaviest categories.