The National Academies

NCHRP 01-54 [Active]

Guidelines for Limiting Damage to Flexible and Composite Pavements Due to the Presence of Water

  Project Data
Funds: $349,881
Staff Responsibility: Edward T. Harrigan
Research Agency: Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Stephen Seeds
Effective Date: 8/1/2014
Completion Date: 12/31/2021


State DOTs are familiar with incidents where pavements suffer unexpected failure due to the presence of water. Typically, significant maintenance or even major rehabilitation is needed to remedy such damage. Past studies have identified many factors that contribute to water-induced damage, over and above those related to the paving materials. Despite the wealth of information on water-induced damage in the technical literature, there is a need for guidelines that identify best practices to limit damage to pavements from water intrusion. These best practices are documented in numerous sources and are practiced by experienced pavement engineers; however, the information has not been assembled in one convenient location. The target audience of the guidelines should be practicing engineers. These guidelines should focus on strategies to limit damage due to the presence of water when constructing, maintaining, or rehabilitating flexible or composite pavement systems.
The objectives of this research are to develop (1) guidelines for the practicing engineer, in the form of a proposed AASHTO standard practice, for limiting water-induced damage to new and existing flexible and composite pavements and (2) a syllabus and materials for a 1-day training course on the use of the guidelines by practicing engineers.

The guidelines shall be targeted to practitioners in the pavement and materials engineering community. At a minimum, they shall address the effects of:
  • pavement structure (e.g., drainage layers, “bath tubs,” and shoulders)
  • roadway geometry (e.g., cross slope, sag, and ditch lines)
  • regional climate (e.g., wet-freeze)
  • materials (e.g., anti-strip agents and aggregates)
  • construction practices (e.g., longitudinal joint construction and underdrain location)
  • maintenance practices (e.g., crack filling and outlet cleaning)
The guidelines shall be supported by technical commentary necessary to enhance their understanding and application by the practicing engineer.
STATUS: Awaiting revised final deliverables..

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