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Ontario’s Local Calibration of the MEPDG Distress and Performance Models for Flexible Roads: A Summary


This paper summarizes the research outcomes from the multiple research projects devoted to local calibration of the distress and performance models of the AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) for Ontario’s flexible highway pavements. The study started with development of a local calibration database, which was later enhanced with a focus on Superpave sections. The permanent deformation or rutting models, fatigue cracking models, thermal cracking models, reflective cracks models, and finally the IRI models were all studied, and calibrated if every possible. The following main results are highlighted: (1) After several attempts and innovation on calibration database and calibration method development, the rutting models have been well calibrated. (2) Among the several types of cracking models, only the bottom-up fatigue cracking model has been successfully calibrated, whereas the top-down cracking, thermal cracking and reflective cracking models are still facing major challenges, reason being either a lack of reliable observation data or continuous updating status of the global models. (3) Since the thermal and reflective cracking models are subject to further development and global and local calibrations, the IRI model has been partially calibrated for its rutting and fatigue cracking terms. However, the full local calibration of the IRI model can be readily done after all cracking models are calibrated. The paper is concluded with a reflection of the work, which serves a good guide for other transportation agencies, either American or Canadian, for their local calibration study.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Innovations in Pavement Management, Engineering and Technologies
Yuan, X.
Lee, W.
LI, N.