Pavement Design Using Unsaturated Soil Technology

Pavements are constructed on compacted soils that are typically unsaturated. The negative pore-water pressure (soil suction) due to the ingress of water in between soil particles has a significant effect on pavement foundation stiffness and strength. The study characterized the effects of soil suction on shear strength and resilient modulus of four soils representing different regions of Minnesota. The deviator stress in shear strength measurements followed a power function relationship with soil suction. Resilient modulus also followed the power function relationship with suction but these relationships fell within a narrow range. The authors present models for incorporating suction effects in shear strength and resilient modulus measurements of highly compacted subgrade soils. They also briefly outline a framework for incorporating these models in the resistance factors of MnPAVE. Since soil water content and the resulting soil suction under the pavement varies with season, adjustments are needed to account for increased strength and stiffness of the material as a result of unsaturated soil conditions. These adjustments will not only reflect the more realistic field conditions but will result in more reliable performance predictions than the current pavement design method.

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    University of Minnesota, St Paul

    Department of Soil, Water and Climate, 1991 Upper Buford Circle
    St Paul, MN  United States  55108

    Minnesota Department of Transportation

    Research Services Section, 395 John Ireland Boulevard, Mail Stop 330
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155
  • Authors:
    • Gupta, Satish C
    • Ranaivoson, Andry
    • Edil, Tuncer B
    • Benson, Craig H
    • Sawangsuriya, Auckpath
  • Publication Date: 2007-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 245p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01052345
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MN/RC-2007-11
  • Contract Numbers: 81655 (wo) 103
  • Created Date: Jul 6 2007 1:49PM