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Measurement of seasonal changes and spatial variations in pavement unbound base and subgrade properties.
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    LTRC research project capsule, 08-5GT ; Research project capsule, 08-5GT ;
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  • Abstract:
    Soils often undergo cyclic wetting/drying, but there is very limited research on unsaturated soils subjected to variations in moisture content. More specifically, field moisture variation over time in highway unbound bases and subgrade soils is an important issue for pavement engineering because such variation will cause the variations of strengths and stiffness of pavement materials and affect pavements’ service life. Because of this, both the 1993 AASHTO Pavement Design Guide and the new Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (M-EPDG), which is newly adopted by AASHTO for pavement structure design, require that field moisture variation overtime can be considered one of the major inputs for highway pavement structural design. Different engineering measures or approaches in pavement structures are also taken with an attempt to have the field moisture variation under control. All of these have a cost-associated consequence with an increase in construction and maintenance costs. Therefore, understanding field moisture variation over time and its spatial variation in unbound bases and subgrade soils is essential to conduct proper and cost-effective pavement structural design and construction that will result in pavements reaching their expected service lives.
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