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Publication Details

Impact of Environmental Factors on Pavement Performance in The Absence of Heavy Loads Research/Reference: useful for researchers doing further work in the pavement area as well as those developing improved testing and design procedures. Includes documents of historical value.

Primary Topic: Pavement Design

Description: The objectives of this study were to identify and quantify the effects of environmental factors and pavement design on pavement performance in the absence of heavy loads; establish what the environmental effects are and develop recommendations for mitigating these effects through effective designs, materials selection, and construction; estimate the portion of total pavement damage caused by environmental factors; and establish a database of pavement design features, materials properties, and performance to be used in the future for similar analyses. Site-by-site analyses of the Long-Term Pavement Performance program's Specific Pavement Study (SPS)-8 sections were conducted. Next, researchers determined the effect of environmental factors in SPS-8 and companion sections from other SPSs and General Pavement Studies (GPSs) on the performance of flexible and rigid pavements. Finally, an estimate of the portion of pavement damage caused by environmental factors was made through a comparison of the pavement damage of low-traffic SPS-8 sections with higher-traffic companion SPS and GPS sections. Results showed an average of 36 and 24 percent of total damage was related to environmental factors for flexible and rigid pavements, respectively, at an age of 15 yr.

FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-084

Publication Year: 2019

Document Links: HTML  PDF (file size: 3 mb)

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Updated: 04/11/2022
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