Selection of sustainable rigid pavement using the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide

Laith A Al Sabty, University of Texas at El Paso


A new pavement design guide called "Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (ME-PDG)" has been developed for design and rehabilitation of pavements. The guide uses general characteristics, traffic, environmental conditions, and pavement structure information to estimate pavement life. ME-PDG is a comprehensive program which requires significant number of inputs and time to analyze and predict pavement performance. In El Paso, Texas most of the urban highways are constructed as Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP). Although commonly placed, the design life of CRCP pavements is rarely realized. In addition, the cost of constructing CRCP is significantly higher than the Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement (JPCP). A program called High Performance Paving (HIPERPAV) has been developed that evaluates induced internal stresses during hydration. The HIPERPAV software uses material properties and pouring time to identify cracking potential which is not currently incorporated in ME-PDG. Therefore, HIPERPAV was used in this study to eliminate poor performing Portland concrete cement (PCC) mixes. The evaluation results identified that both JPCP and CRCP pavements can be designed to meet the desired performance life for El Paso weather conditions. The JPCP and CRCP can be designed with same thickness of 14 in. and PCC modulus of rupture of 620 psi to meet design life of 30 years with 90% reliability. However, the performance of CRCP pavements significantly reduces in the case of loss of contact with the base layer. Overall, the sensitivity analysis indicates JPCP pavement is optimal in comparison to CRCP pavements due to lower cost of construction.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

Recommended Citation

Al Sabty, Laith A, "Selection of sustainable rigid pavement using the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1512541.