Concrete Pavement Reliability by Monte Carlo Simulation

Pavement reliability is a topic with which very few investigators are familiar enough to engage in a productive discussion about it, on a scientific, mathematical or philosophical level. Most engineers, however, are quite experienced in applying the concept of the safety factor, SF, in design. Monte Carlo Simulation is used in this paper to show that Reliability (R) is related to SF for any given level of assumed variability in material properties and traffic. A range of SF between 1 and 5 is found to be adequate in describing R from 50 to 99.9%, for typical concrete pavement sections. The relationship between R and SF is much more sensitive to changes in the variability of material properties, than to changes in traffic variability. The methodology developed in this study is simple to follow and leads to practical values of the overall standard deviation (So) required in American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 86/93 designs. Findings corroborate the stipulation that for rigid pavements, So typically lies between 0.3 and 0.4, but this range depends on the assumed variability levels. The contributions of the Office of Engineering and of the Bureau of Statistics to the success or failure of a pavement are found to be essentially commensurate. The approach described herein addresses the debilitating weaknesses in the reliability methodology of AASHTO 86/93, which led to its abandonment in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 1-26 and 2008 Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) efforts. It is argued that the AASHTO 86/93 reliability approach is mathematically and philosophically superior to its successors and deserves to be reinstated.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01764397
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-00600
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:04AM