Improving the Foundation Layers for Concrete Pavements: Lessons Learned and a Framework for Mechanistic Assessment of Pavement Foundations Final Report

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 20:30

This report summarizes the key findings and lessons learned from the series of field, laboratory, and advanced numerical studies performed under Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Transportation Pooled Fund Study TPF-5(183). This research program was established by the partnering state departments of transportation (DOTs) to identify opportunities to document the as-constructed conditions and advance the quality and economy of the foundation layers for portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements, leading to improved support for long-life pavement systems.

The key findings and lessons learned are drawn from detailed pavement foundation test programs in the participating states of California, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The key findings are presented with an emphasis on the measurement and characterization of the design input values for the foundation layers. The focus of the lessons learned is on the challenges involved in the mechanistic characterization of pavement foundation engineering properties.

The report is available from the Iowa government web site at


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