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CalBack: Enhancing caltrans mechanistic-empirical pavement design process with new back-calculation software
Lu Q., Ullidtz P., Basheer I., , Signore J.M.
Published in
Volume: 135
Issue: 7
Pages: 479 - 488
In 1996, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) initiated an extensive project to develop mechanistic-empirical (ME) pavement design and analysis tools, which will help state design engineers incorporate the impact of new products and technologies, increased traffic volumes and axle loading, and variable climatic conditions. As part of the development of new ME design procedures, Caltrans is developing a suite of dedicated software. CalME is a ME design program for flexible pavements that parallels the NCHRP 1-37A (MEPDG) and is calibrated for California conditions. CalBack is a sophisticated back-calculation program that contains specific features pertinent to California and is designed to work standalone, or in concert with CalME. CalBack is a unique and important addition to the existing knowledge base in that it possesses multiple data input/output methods, several new analytical modeling methods, and numerous user performance options. This paper describes the successful development and implementation of CalBack in three ways: (1) why and how Caltrans developed CalBack; (2) how CalBack functions; and (3) representative studies that show how well the software performs. Application of CalBack in several California projects, including the case studies presented in this paper, has shown that back-calculated moduli for different layers in the flexible and rigid pavement systems agreed reasonably well with laboratory measured values. Furthermore, the importance of avoiding temperature gradients when evaluating portland cement concrete pavements with the falling weight deflectometer is also well captured by CalBack. © 2009 ASCE.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Open AccessNo