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Methods to Relate and Predict In-Service Performance of Pavements from Accelerated Pavement Testing


The use of accelerated pavement testing (APT) for determining pavement response and performance has increased over the years primarily because of the ability to provide an expedited means of evaluating potential materials, designs, and construction methods. However, because of the short duration and controlled conditions of these accelerated tests, APT studies may not necessarily reflect all factors that potentially contribute to long-term performance such as climatic conditions and changes in material properties over time. Some APT facilities have developed methods that attempt to simulate long-term effects of environment and aging of materials while recognizing the difficulty to accurately and consistently represent the conditions found in-situ. In addition, magnitude, duration, and configuration of the loads applied in APT studies often differ from those imposed by traffic on in-service pavements. Methodologies that relate data obtained from APT studies to in-service performance are not readily available. These methods should consider common APT goals which often include evaluations limited to surface layers, quantifying improvement in performance of new and emerging materials compared to traditional treatments, limiting distress development, and other focused objectives. Thus, there is a need for research to provide methodologies for relating APT results that are acquired under specific environmental and loading conditions to expected long term pavement performance under in-service traffic and environmental conditions.


The objective of this research is to identify and develop methodologies in an AASHTO recommended practice that relate APT findings to long-term in-service pavement performance under diverse climatic conditions, axle loads, and design vehicle speeds.

Research Tasks:


As transportation infrastructure ages, highway agencies face a growing challenge to provide practical and cost-effective pavement evaluation and rehabilitation approaches. To meet these challenges, many agencies have relied on APT to quickly evaluate and implement promising technologies that have the potential to improve pavement performance and increase pavement life. This research will make APT studies more widely applicable to state agencies through better defined relationships with in-service performance.

Related Research:

NCHRP 10-66 was initiated in 2004 but was not pursued. The panel at that time recognized that satisfying the project objective depended on finding sufficiently compatible pairs of APT and in-service test sections. Because of concerns about data availability, practicality of the proposed research approach, and the likelihood of implementable results, the panel suggested that a similar effort be considered when relevant data became available. It is expected that APT data and compatible in-service pavements are more abundant now and that changes in the proposed scope will result in successful research findings.

  1. Conduct a literature review to establish current methodologies that relate APT and in-service pavement performance. The literature review will also focus on determining common objectives of APT studies (e.g., evaluation of improved material or construction technique, design method calibration, etc.) as well as documenting relevant APT loading, environmental simulation, and pavement response measurement capabilities

  2. Identify or develop methodologies for relating APT and in-service performance.

  3. Provide guidance in the form of a recommended practice on data analysis and interpretation of methodologies that relate to pavement performance.

  4. Apply methodologies and guidance developed through this research to a minimum of three real-world case studies.

  5. Verify or adjust guidance provided in Item #3 based upon the case studies in Item #4.

  6. Develop an implementation plan for stakeholders.


Due to the economic benefits of APT, a growing number of agencies and organization have either implemented APT programs or rely on APT findings to evaluate new pavement materials, pavement designs, and construction methods. The success of this research will speed the use of new pavement materials, improved pavement designs, and more effective construction methods. Pavement design and management programs will benefit greatly from the outcome of the research. More appropriate APT testing conditions and more accurate performance data will improve pavement designs (structure and materials) and management (life cycle cost analysis, treatment selection and timing).

Sponsoring Committee:AKP40, Pavement Structural Testing and Evaluation
Research Period:24 - 36 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:James Greene
Date Posted:10/13/2020
Date Modified:11/03/2020
Index Terms:Pavement performance, Accelerated pavement tests, Test procedures, Pavements,
Cosponsoring Committees: 

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