Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report # MATC-UNL: 223 Final Report 25-1121-0001-223


Copyright 2010 Mid-America Transportation Center


Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) is an improved methodology for pavement design and the evaluation of paving materials. However, in spite of significant advancements to pre-existing traditional design methods, the MEPDG is known to be limited in its accurate prediction of mechanical responses and damage in asphaltic pavements. This restriction is both due to the use of simplified structural analysis methods, and a general lack of understanding of the fundamental constitutive behavior and damage mechanisms in paving materials. This is additionally affected by the use of circular tire loading configurations. Performance prediction and pavement life are determined based on the simple layered elastic theory and the empirically-developed failure criteria: the so-called transfer functions. To model pavement performance in a more appropriate manner, this study attempts finite element modeling to account for viscoelastic paving materials. Mechanical responses between the finite element simulations and the MEPDG analyses are compared to monitor any significant differences that are relevant to better pavement analysis and design. Pavement performance and the corresponding design life between the two approaches are further compared and discussed.