Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research & Innovation

Quantify the benefits of using geotextiles and geogrids to improve the performance of unbound pavement layers

Need Statement 708


Geotextiles can be used for several applications including separation, confinement, drainage, and stabilization of subgrade and base materials. Geogrids are used to give strength to base and full depth reclamation material. This study will include current best practices and will produce a synthesis report for using geotextiles and geogrids based upon soil type, pavement structure, and traffic loads. This will also include quantification of these benefits based upon the function of the geotextile, i.e., separation, confinement, drainage, and stabilization, and for geogrids, will include the strength gain of the base or full depth reclamation material.


This study will produce a design guide for road designers detailing when to use and what types of geotextiles and geogrids to use for given soil, pavement designs, and traffic conditions. Having a guide will aid designers in utilizing these products to better predict pavement outcomes and to extend pavement life.

Previous Research

Strategic priorities

  • Innovation & Future Needs: The guide will include consideration of function and conditions to aid designers in choosing the appropriate treatment.
  • Asset Management: This guide will help designers choose the appropriate application for a variety of conditions, resulting in optimized cost and viability of the treatment.

Expected outcomes

  • New or improved manual, handbook, guidelines, or training
  • New or improved decision support tool, simulation, or model/algorithm (software)

Expected benefits

All expected benefits that may be realized if the findings and recommendations from this research is adopted or implemented.

  • Construction Savings: Cost savings from reduced materials: Over design can cost us some money up front.
  • Other Operations and Maintenance Savings: Under design and repairing weak subgrade or base after construction is very expensive.

Technical advisory panel

  • TBD