Seasonal Load Restrictions on Low Volume Highways: Pavement Strength Estimation

In Ontario, low volume roads comprise about 20% (3,715 center line kilometers) of the total provincial highway network. These roads are subjected to infrequent but intensive traffic loading as well as a high number of freeze-thaw cycles. Seasonal load restrictions (SLRs) are applied during the spring thaw to low volume highways which are not structurally designed to carry heavy loads during saturated periods. Currently, methods used to apply SLRs are based on visual observation, field testing, prescheduled dates, and empirical models. There is a need to develop a rational, quantitative procedure to determine the best time to apply SLRs based on measured or predicted frost conditions and pavement response. A primary objective of this research is to develop models that can be used to estimate the pavement strength as a function of frost/thaw depths, characteristics of pavement structures and other variables. For this purpose, the first step is to explore the application of thermal numerical modelling to estimate frost/thaw depths based on variables related to climate, pavement, base, sub-base and sub-grade conditions. Once these models are developed and calibrated, the second step would be to relate the frost/thaw depths to pavement strength. The work of this research is in progress and this paper presents preliminary results obtained up to date.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 17 p.
  • Monograph Title: 2009 Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Transportation Association of Canada - Transportation in a Climate of Change

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149443
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Files: TAC
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2010 7:29AM