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North Dakota implementation of mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG).
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  • Abstract:
    North Dakota currently designs roads based on the AASHTO Design Guide procedure, which is based on the empirical findings of the AASHTO Road Test of the late 1950s. However, limitations of the current empirical approach have prompted AASHTO to move toward the new mechanistically based pavement design procedure described in the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG), which was released to the public for review in 2004 under NCHRP Project 1-37A. MEPDG combines mechanistic and empirical methodology and provides more realistic characterization of in-service pavements. Its mechanistic approach is both more thorough and more computationally complex than the existing AASHTO design method, and as a result the method can require an extensive number of detailed material, foundational, traffic, and environmental inputs. This and other factors can present a challenge to agencies wishing to implement the new method. Because AASHTO has adopted the MEPDG and highway agencies across the nation are moving towards its implementation, it is critical that North Dakota becomes familiar with the MEPDG documentation and software and identify input data requirements for design. This report summarizes the findings of MEPDG implementation in North Dakota, identifies input data needs and research steps of the MEPDG implementation in the state and also prepares North Dakota for successful implementation of the MEPDG statewide.
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