Characterization of permeability of pavement bases in Missouri Department of Transportation's System
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Characterization of permeability of pavement bases in Missouri Department of Transportation's System

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      The results of field (in-situ) and laboratory permeability testing showed MoDOT?s predominant pavement base ?Type 5? (and the upper ?working? surface of the 2-foot rock fill alternative) has hydraulic conductivities that are several orders of magnitude (10 -3 to 10 -5 cm/s) lower than the freely-draining value of 1 cm/sec. Using the measured hydraulic conductivities in the FHWA?s DRIP 2.0 analysis for evaluating pavement performance resulted in drainage quality rankings of poor to very poor. Preliminary strength testing was performed on the Type 5 base in order to quantify the strength behavior. Results of cyclic triaxial tests under saturated, undrained conditions performed on compacted, Type-5 base showed the saturated base loses most of its strength within a few load cycles. Drained cyclic tests resulted in the same behavior ? almost complete loss of strength in just a few load cycles. The findings indicate that the Type 5 base does not allow moisture to escape (drain) sufficiently fast enough during traffic loading resulting in build up of excess porewater pressure and loss of strength in the layer. Given these findings, it is concluded that Missouri pavements are likely to require more frequent maintenance and are not lasting as long as they could be if adequate drainage were provided. It is recommended that a more durable roadway base be developed. One that provides an adequate working platform during construction and good drainage for extended lifetimes. Several tasks are recommended in order to gather high quality data (evidence) that are prerequisite for the development of an effective specification for roadway base in Missouri. A program of laboratory strength testing, in situ permeability testing, instrumented pavement sections and a geographical information system-based pavement performance database should be undertaken. Such a program will provide the necessary evidence on which to initiate changes to Missouri?s pavement base system which will provide higher performance, longer-lasting and more economical pavement systems.
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