Evaluation of Effectiveness of Subsurface Drainage Systems in Pavement Structures

Project No: 66818

Target Completion Date: June 30, 2005 Structures

About the project:

The removal of water from a pavement structure through subsurface drainage has become an important issue in pavement design, maintenance, and construction. In flexible pavements, the presence of water can cause stripping of the asphalt cement from the aggregate in the bound layers. In a rigid pavement, water may lead to reduced support through pumping or settlement, which manifests itself in the form of joint deterioration and slab cracking. In the unbound base, subbase, and subgrade layers, water can cause the reduction of pavement strength. This reduction in strength can lead to pavement deterioration and/or failure. The purpose and main objectives of this research are to determine the effectiveness of subsurface drainage systems. This in turn will be used to determine if the drainage system is necessary, what type of drainage system should be used, and where should a drainage system be used. Water related pavement damage significantly reduces the service lives of pavements. The removal of water from the pavement structure may contribute to the extension in service life of the pavement. Any measurable extension in the service life of the pavement yields significant long-term benefits, in terms of; reduced maintenance costs, decrease in user delay costs by minimizing work zone lane closure time, and improved pavement serviceability.

Project Team

Co-Principal Investigators

Last updated: July 5, 2023

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