Date of Award

December 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

Committee Member

Bradley J Putman

Committee Member

Prasad R Rangaraju

Committee Member

Ronald D Andrus


The South Carolina Department of Transportation recognizes the need for a local calibration of the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide to provide a more accurate and efficient pavement design process for the state. A large part of this calibration revolves around determining actual pavement performance throughout South Carolina. Surface evaluations involving performance indicators such as bottom-up fatigue cracking, top-down fatigue cracking, transverse cracking, and surface rut depths were completed at four locations across the state. Asphalt cores were retrieved from each location as well. Retrieving asphalt cores allowed further detail such as pavement structure and cracking origin to be determined. Collecting and compiling the results in a format for direct comparison to the MEPDG software output was an important endeavor within this research as well. After evaluating the four locations, general findings support that thicker pavement structures result in lower distress values. However, a direct linear relationship between thickness and amount of surface distresses cannot be determined at this time. This research also determined that differing pavement structures may be located within a relatively small length of roadway. Numerous samples that have experienced uniform loading with varying asphalt thicknesses will result in corresponding differing surface distress values. The data collected from these locations stand as a significant start for MEPDG output comparison in the local calibration process, but an abundance of data from many more evaluations will be required to accurately represent the pavement performance within South Carolina.



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