Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Road Research

NRRA Geotechnical and Flexible Teams

Flooded Pavements Assessment App (Phase 2)

Status: Developing RFP

Project overview

Pavements are dynamic structures and are affected by several parameters such as climate, loading conditions, or material properties. Current pavement analysis and design procedures often rely on empirical or mechanistic-empirical approaches, which renders their ability to incorporate moisture-dependency, especially during periods of excess moisture (such as, post flooding) and to conduct real-time and forecasted pavement capacity and load restriction analyses. While excess moisture in base and subgrade soils during and after inundation of roads has detrimental impacts on longevity and serviceability of pavements, immediate need for transportation agencies is often focused on road closure and opening decisions. The presence of excess water can be due to seasonal ground water level fluctuations, post-storm flooding, and thawing of soil frost and surface snow. An ideal agency decision App for roadway closures and/or load posting is the one that is mechanistic, and holistically evaluates different physical and environmental stressors. Such Application can enhance the resilience of pavement systems in response to extreme events and also results in more sustainable, efficient, and cost-effect roads.

In an effort supported by the NRRA – Phase I, the research team at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has studied the mechanistic response of flexible pavement systems during and after flooding events. This involved using system dynamics modeling approach to consider the interdependency of several influential factors on pavement response through sensitivity analysis and parameterization. Further, the team at UNH has developed an initial version of a user-friendly toolkit that would help agencies to decide on post-flooding roadway opening decisions by mechanistically assessing the pavement capacity on basis of pavement section characteristics, material properties, climatic conditions (past and forecasted), and traffic scenarios. The toolkit will assist public agencies to make reliable road opening decisions during and after flooding and for various traffic classes. The first version of the UNH’s Flooded Pavement Assessment App was presented to NRRA members and also to at-large

Project team

Technical Liaison: Tim Andersen, MnDOT, timothy.lee.andersen@state.mn.us
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  • Tim Anderson, MnDOT
  • Terry Beaudry, MnDOT
  • James Bittmann, MnDOT
  • Deepak Maskey, Caltrans
  • Heather Shoup, Illinois DOT
  • Raul Velasquez, MnDOT
  • Ben Worel, MnDOT

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