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Implementation of Pavement-ME for Nevada’s Conditions
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In the last decade, evaluation and implementation of the Mechanistic–Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) has been attempted by several highway agencies throughout the United States. Agencies interested in implementing the MEPDG procedure must prepare a concrete implementation strategy that fits their local conditions (e.g., materials, traffic, and climate). The foremost step in the implementation plan is collection of design input data and establishment of a database. Since 2005, a comprehensive study was conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to establish a database to support The AASHTO Pavement-ME implementation for the State of Nevada. The usage of polymer-modified asphalt binders in Nevada is considered to be one of the main factors that necessitated implementation and calibration of Pavement-ME since the nationally developed models are based on unmodified asphalt binders. The implementation program included extensive amount of testing asphalt binders and hot-mix asphalt mixtures. Additionally, preliminary databases for unbound materials properties, climatic weather stations and traffic data were collected. The composed information was eventually used to perform a preliminary calibration of the Pavement-ME rutting model to Nevada conditions. The report covered the observed challenges that were faced while trying to pursue the implementation plan especially for overlay designs inputs as well as the pavement distress unit conversion process from the current system to the required units accepted by Pavement-ME. Additionally, the report presented proposed solutions during implementation of Pavement-ME in Nevada. The implementation parameters can serve as a framework for similar highway agencies and help ensure successful employment of the Pavement-ME.