This is a continuation of a research contract activity which was started on October 1, 2008. The research contractor (Applied Research Associates) has so far performed satisfactorily on route to addressing the three contract objectives: (1) To incorporate Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide models in jointed plain concrete pavement performance-related specifications, as has been done for hot-mix asphalt performance-related specifications in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program 9-22.(2) To provide assistance to three States who want to develop or improve on their performance-related specifications.(3) To develop a plan for Statewide implementation of performance-related specifications, thereby saving time and eliminating much of the burden associated with current project-by-project jointed plain concrete pavements performance-related specifications development. The three objectives were identified in 2004 as high-priority research needs by the Concrete Technical Working Group that provided guidance for the Office of Asset Management's Performance Specifications Strategic Roadmap. They were also specifically identified as critical needs by participants in the November 2006 Advanced Quality Systems Workshop in Alexandria, Virginia. Also, the American Concrete Pavement Association has passed a resolution to encourage the further development and implementation of performance-related specifications, and the American Concrete Pavement Association staff have provided significant input in past performance-related specifications software development and jointed plain concrete pavements performance-related specifications field trials. All field trials were successful. The States conducting field trials (using performance-related specifications not based on the Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide models) were Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Those States plus others (e.g., California, Kansas) have now indicated a need for Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide-based performance-related specifications and for assistance with performance-related specifications implementation. This research contract activity will provide such performance-related specifications development and implementation assistance to three States and will result in Mechanistic-Empirical Design Guide-based PaveSpec 4.0 performance-related specifications software that replaces the current PaveSpec 3.0. As noted above, this activity addresses a Fiscal Year 2010 Gap: "Performance-based Specifications Have Limitations Due to Existing Testing and Evaluation Protocols." It also addresses Fiscal Year 2010 Gap: "Lack of Guidance and Best Practices for QA." This activity will improve and implement current jointed plain concrete pavements performance-related specifications, moving them closer to performance-based specifications. It will also be the basis for quality assurance guidance.
The following are the key project objectives:
- Incorporating Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) models in jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP) performance-related specifications (PRS).
- Providing assistance to State highway agencies in developing and using Level 1 and Level 2 PRS.
- Developing a plan for Statewide implementation of PRS.