The fourth AASHTO Pavement ME National Users Group Meeting last week provided engineers and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss issues related to mechanistic-empirical (ME) pavement design.
Key topics include the long-standing ME Pavement Design Guide as well as the AASHTOWare Pavement M-E Design program. Eric Ferrebee participated in the meeting and had the opportunity to talk with designers and key officials about ACPA’s perspectives on highway pavement design. ACPA has long advocated for the use of AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME for highway pavement design. We have also encouraged designers to make the transition from older AASHTO design programs.
This meeting, which drew close to 90 participants representing 35 State DOTs and Canadian Provinces, is the largest gathering for state DOTs, AASHTO and FHWA to focus solely on AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME Design tool.
“The design tool is the most advanced tool for designing and analyzing pavements that exists,” Eric says. “This has led to more realistic designs for concrete pavements.” Currently, because of complexity of the tool, many agencies are still working toward implementation, he says.
“While there are quite a few agencies that have implemented it for concrete, others are still working through calibration efforts to ensure designs match with local performance,” Eric says. “For concrete pavements, we’ve seen that the lack of calibration can result in increased pavement thicknesses, sometimes between 0.5 in. to 1.0 in. Even so, this is a significant decrease over the earlier empirical versions of the AASHTO design guide (i.e., AASHTO93, AASHTO86 and even AASHTO72). Those versions could result in variations that could add 2 to 3 in. to thickness designs.”
“Moving toward Mechanistic-Empirical design is a big step for DOTs, but it can help create realistic and competitive designs for concrete,” he adds.
ARA has developed a new Calibration Assistance Tool (CAT), which many participants expressed interest and excitement about. The tool should help ease some of the issues with calibrating the tool for local use. Designers and others a chance had an opportunity to see CAT demonstrations and to discuss issues with the tool, as well as overall implementation.
ACPA Presents Pavement Design Training
Wednesday, 23 October 2019 12:39
Continuing our efforts to provide training on concrete pavement design and build awareness of design resources, Eric Ferrebee delivered a technical presentation on cement-based pavement design tools and methods at the ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition in Cincinnati this week. The presentation was part of a track called “Design and Construction of Concrete Streets and Local Roads.” Eric covered various ACI design guides and then explained that PavementDesigner.org is the basis for much of the structural design.
Other presenters for the session were Brian Killingsworth, NRMCA, who spoke about soils and substructure design. Amanda Hult, also of NRMCA, covered construction and jointing. Peter Taylor, CP Tech Center (an ACPA technology partner) presented on concrete overlays.
The dates of the ACI event are Oct. 20 through 24. The purpose of the annual convention is to provide a forum for networking and education, as well as an opportunity discuss the concrete industry’s codes, specifications, and guides.
ACPA Debuts PavementDesigner.org Video
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:20
The American Concrete Pavement Association presents a new video that shows the features and benefits of PavementDesigner.org, the cement and concrete industry’s concrete pavement thickness design platform that allows users to design pavements free of charge using a computer or other digital devices.
The program was created for city, county, and consultant engineers, academia, or anyone involved in design of roadway, industrial, and parking area pavements. PavementDesigner improves upon traditional pavement design software programs, and provides the following value-added features:
No cost – The platform and is offered completely free of charge, eliminating the expense and burden of ordering software and updates, licenses, etc.
Immediate access – The platform brings the industry’s best pavement design programs together into a single website that allows professionals to design pavements immediately.
Cloud storage/retrieval – Users have the option of creating a user ID and password to save their design work, as well as to retrieve projects using any digital device.
Automatic updates and improvements – The online system is automatically updated when new content or details are added. Users will not have to download updated software or “patches.”
Primary sponsors are the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA), the Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) Research & Education Foundation, and the Portland Cement Association (PCA). Additional funding and support came from the RCC Pavement Council. The RMC Research and Education Foundation is affiliated with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.
ACPA Continues PavementDesigner Outreach
Monday, 11 March 2019 08:40
In our continuing quest to inform and educate the engineering community about PavementDesigner.org, Eric Ferrebee’s latest stop was Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, where he provided training at the 105th Purdue Road School Transportation Conference & Expo last week.
Eric followed Mike Byers of the Indiana Chapter and David Holtz of the Indiana DOT after there presentation on thin concrete overlays. Eric presented on how to use the concrete industry’s pavement thickness design platform for parking lots, streets & roads, and overlays.
ACPA Presents at Pavement Workshops
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 21:45
In support, of the Cement Association of Canada, an ACPA affiliate, Eric Ferrebee presented at two workshops last week. The first was the 2018 Sustainable Roadways Seminar in Red Deer, AB.
The event, presented by the Cement Association of Canada, in partnership with Concrete Alberta, was focused on concrete pavement design and construction topics, and was presented to an audiencce of provincial and municipal officials, consulting engineers, and contractors.
The following day, Ferrebee presented at the Industrial Concrete Pavements workshop in Edmonton, AB. He presented on Industrial Design with ACI’s 330 Guide for Industrial Paving and Flatwork (including jointing and thickness design), as well as PavementDesigner.org.