Performance of Stabilized and Unstabilized Pavement Foundation after Extreme Events
weather events can have a catastrophic effect on infrastructure, including the
transportation system. Though often not
immediately visible, this damage can extend to subgrade and base layers. Extended periods of saturation from
hurricane-induced flooding events threaten the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, such
as Harvey in Texas in 2017, and periods of extended flooding can occur through
much of the country, such as the flooding of I-29 and I-70 and many other
highways throughout the Midwest in 2019.
Other extreme weather events to consider are those that cause large
temperatures fluctuations in pavement foundation. Stabilization of subgrade and
base layers can dramatically improve resiliency during these events, however,
damage still occurs. Predicting and/or
estimating damage from such events for existing and proposed pavement designs
is a necessary part of minimizing life cycle costs and practicing effective
geotechnical asset management.
urgency of this issue has been recognized and some work has been published
recently in this area, such as Asadi et al (2020) and a National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine special report (2014) that address
important aspects of the problem. However, many questions have not been fully
addressed. These questions include but
are not limited to: what are the most resilient stabilization methods
(mechanical, geosynthetic, or chemical), both immediately after the event and
over the long term for given soil types; should additional stabilizer be
specified during design in anticipation of such events and if so, how much;
what is the expected reduction in pavement life after inundation with or
without traffic loads; change in freeze/thaw cycles, what weight limitations
should be imposed, if any, after an inundation event and for how long; and to
what degree has the expected life of an existing pavement foundation has been
impacted by a particular extreme event.
is needed to identify properties of stabilized subgrades and base layers that significantly
influence performance during and after extreme events. This information can be
incorporated into design procedures and the asset management plan.
proposed project has the following significant objectives:
primary objective of this research is to gather field data of pavement
foundation subjected to extreme events and to characterize the modulus,
strength, compressibility and other properties of stabilized and unstabilized
layers from immediately after the event until full recovery occurs. Gathering such data will likely require a
partnership that includes multiple states such that sampling teams can be
deployed quickly to collect samples as needed.
A second objective of this research is to identify existing or new
laboratory and field testing procedures that are predictive of behavior related
to extreme events. This data will then
be used to develop proposed procedures for designing pavement foundation in
anticipation of extreme events and characterizing existing pavement foundation.
Benefits to this proposed research include guidelines for
laboratory and field testing for pavement foundation exposed to extreme events
and design guidelines for areas potentially exposed to extreme weather events.
Soheil Nazarian, Rajib Basu Mallick, and Cesar Tirado. 2020. Computational
Process for Quantifying the Impact of Flooding on Remaining Life of Flexible
Pavement Structures. Journal of
Transportation Engineering, Part B: Pavements. ASCE, https://doi.org/10.1061/JPEODX.0000219.
Elshaer, Majid Ghayoomi, & Jo Sias Daniel. 2019. Impact of subsurface water
on structural performance of inundated flexible pavements. International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 20:8, 947-957, DOI:
National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategic Issues Facing
Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the
Highway System: Practitioner's Guide and Research Report. Washington, DC: The
National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/22473.
research tasks must include the following:
Create database of field data of pavement
foundation subjected to extreme events: modulus, strength, compressibility, and
related information. Note: Extreme events should include flooding at a minimum,
however, other events included could be changed freeze/thaw cycles, wildfires,
Identify new/existing field and laboratory
testing procedures to predict performance of pavement foundation subjected to
Identify and select instrumented
field testing sections.
Develop procedures to design pavement foundation that can withstand
extreme events. Procedures should provide a guide
and/or case study to demonstrate how practitioners can identify and remediate
Transportation and other infrastructure owners (such as FHWA Federal Lands) can
immediately benefit from the work, improving training guides and educational
Any insights from
the work can also be immediately used to improve policy and procedures and/or
focus new and additional research efforts.
Index Terms: Stabilized soils, stabilized materials, base, subbase, subgrade (pavements), pavement foundation, pavement design, pavement performance, pavements, nondestructive tests, compressive strength, flexural strength, tensile strength, cementitious material, chemical stabilization, resilient modulus, extreme events, flooding, instrumentation
|Sponsoring Committee:||AKG90, Stabilization of Geomaterials and Recycled Materials
|Research Period:||24 - 36 months|
|RNS Developer:||Bob Parsons, Wayne Lee, Halil Ceylan, Imran M. Syed, Xingwei Chen, Javier Castaneda, Soheil Nazarian, Mohammed Mulla|
|Index Terms:||Floods, Subgrade (Pavements), Foundation soils, Surface temperature, Soil stabilization, Pavements, |
|Cosponsoring Committees:||AKG30, Geo-Environmental and Climatic Impacts on Geomaterials; AKG40, Mechanics and Drainage of Saturated and Unsaturated Geomaterials; AKG50, Transportation Earthworks; AKG60, Geotechnical Instrumentation and Modeling; AKM80, Aggregates|
Maintenance and Preservation