Evaluation of Long-Term Performance of Pavement Drainage Layers on I-469 in Indiana

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Subsurface drainage is important for long-term pavement performance. Rational procedures to analyze and evaluate the design, reliability, and effectiveness of subsurface drainage systems are needed in order for their use to be recommended with confidence. Three pavement subdrainage test sections were constructed in 1995 on the eastbound driving lane of I-469 in Indiana, at the northern junction with I-69, between Stations 150+05 and 173+40. Presented are the original laboratory characterization and mechanistic evaluation for permanent deformation and stability of the test sections employing finite element analysis. Triaxial tests were conducted on all pavement layers of the sections. Falling weight deflectometer evaluations in 1995 and 1998 are also presented. Such measurements are not available after 1998 because compliance with Indiana Department of Transportation safety regulations is required at that location. Finite element analyses were conducted by using laboratory-measured material properties to predict pavement response to falling weight deflectometer loads, compare predicted and measured deflections, examine layer shear stability for shear stress and strength, and predict rutting. Long-term pavement performance indicators up until 2007 (including international roughness index and ground penetration radar), after 12 years of heavy truck traffic, are also presented. Finite element analysis predicted very well the deflections measured by the falling weight deflectometer and accumulated rutting of the three test sections. Comparisons of shear stresses and strengths indicated that the sections were stable. All long-term evaluations indicated that all drainage layers in the study sections have performed their function adequately and protected the subgrade.

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In recent years, many City of Saskatoon (COS), Canada, roads have experienced premature failures. High water tables, increased precipitation, and poor surface drainage have caused increased moisture infiltration in road structures. Further deterioration of these aged pavements is attributable to heavy year-round loadings in urban traffic. To address these issues, COS piloted subsurface drainage and strain dissipation layers in some roads. These drainage systems were constructed with crushed portland cement concrete (PCC) rock and conventional virgin crushed rock. Given the empirical nature of conventional road design methods currently used by COS, the structural benefits of drainage systems are difficult to quantify. Therefore, a reliable method that directly incorporates recycled materials, substructure drainage systems, and diverse field conditions is needed. A mechanistic analysis of the drainage systems was piloted in rehabilitated COS pavement structures with a three-dimensional (3-D) nonlinear orthotropic computational road structural model. The 3-D mechanistic model was used to predict peak surface deflections and normal and shear strains in the structure. Modeling results showed that constructing pavement structures with a substructure drainage layer of crushed PCC rock improved the structural performance of the road system in terms of strains under applied traffic loads. The road model provided primary response predictions that correlated with deflections measured by a heavy weight deflectometer, before and after construction. Therefore, the road model used is a reliable pavement engineering analysis tool able to predict the in-field structural behavior of various road structures under diverse field state conditions.
  • Feng A.