Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



With the increasing shale gas exploration, agricultural and logging activities on the low volume roadways, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC) are interested in thin applications of Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) to be used as a design alternative for those low volume roadways having frequently heavy truck trafficking. The objectives of this research were: (1) to evaluate the structural performance and cracking failure mechanism of thin RCC pavements; (2) to develop a mechanistic-empirical based RCC pavement thickness design procedure for LADOTD to use in their low-volume pavement design.

In this study, six full-scale pavement test sections, each of 71.7 ft long and 13 ft wide, were constructed at the LTRC’s Pavement Research Facility (PRF). The test sections include three RCC thicknesses (4 in., 6 in., and 8 in.) and two base designs: a 12 in. cement treated soil base and an 8.5 in. soil cement over treated subgrade. A heavy vehicle load simulation device - ATLaS30 was used for accelerated loading. In situ pavement testing, instrumentation, and crack-mapping were employed to monitor the load-induced pavement responses and pavement cracking performance.

The Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT) results generally indicated that a thin RCC pavement (thickness of 4 to 6 in.) would eventually exhibit structural fatigue cracking failure under the repetitive traffic and environmental loading. The data also indicated that the more substantial base support generally provided additional structural capacity as compared the less substantial cement treated soil base. The APT results were then used to evaluate the pavement fatigue life, cracking pattern and failure mode of thin RCC pavements, which led to the development of a RCC fatigue model. Finally, a thickness design procedure that includes a fatigue model suitable for analyzing a thin RCC pavements was proposed and the corresponding construction cost savings when implementing thin RCC pavement as a design option for a low volume pavement were estimated. In addition, a prototype RCC thickness design procedure that is suitable for insertion into the AASHTO PavementME design software and includes similar functionalities of PavementME was proposed based on the APT results.



Committee Chair

Wu, Zhong

Available for download on Monday, August 26, 2024