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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-13-0015
Project Name:   Flooded Pavement Assessment Methods
Project Status:   Programmed
Start Date:  October 1, 2013
End Date:  February 1, 2017
Contact Information
Last Name:  Sherwood
First Name:  James A
Telephone:  202-493-3150
E-mail:  jim.sherwood@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Infrastructure Analysis and Construction Team [HRDI-20]
Program:   Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   This project will determine the optimum time to reopen pavements to traffic after floods, when emergency and repair vehicles can be allowed back on pavements, and the long-term effects of these vehicles on long-term pavement performance.
The objectives of this project are to determine the best time to open pavements after floods and to develop models for long-term effects of floods on pavement performance and life.
Product Type:   Draft standard, specifications, or guidelines
Research report
Test Methodology:   Perform literature review; develop work plan; experimental design; collect data (saturation times/drying times/materials tests); selection of models for moisture and strength; pavement performance evaluations for short- and long-term distress; validation of evaluations with data from previous floods; small-scale laboratory tests; nondestructive field tests; develop decision trees in spreadsheets; pilot tests of decision trees with local agencies; prepare final guidelines and report.
Partners:   Federal Highway Administration: Resource Center; Role(s): Other stakeholder, Technical, Advisory
Expected Benefits:   Longer life of pavements.
Deliverables: Name: Flooded pavement assessment.
Product Type(s): Research report, Techbrief, Software, Draft standard, specifications, or guidelines
Description: Decision tree in spreadsheet format.Guidelines for short and long term assessment of flooded pavements.Final Report.
Project Findings:   A survey and questionnaire of the FHWA Division (State) Offices indicates they have no rational assessment procedures in place.  Falling weight deflectometer measurements on pavements that have been inundated, indicate pavement soils recover faster than previously thought in the theoretical models.  So the current FHWA policy of reopening roads as soon as possible may be the best decision.  One of the first tasks to develop a systems dynamics model of flooded pavements indicates the critical time is immediately after construction.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms:   Soils
Service Life
FHWA Disciplines:   Pavement and Materials
Subject Areas:   Pavements


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