Minnesota Perpetual Pavement Analysis and Review

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  09/28/2016


MnDOT currently owns the record for the most award winners and has received an award every year from 2002 through 2015. This study reviews all the award winning roadways in Minnesota to determine common material, design factors and considerations which may have contributed to the roadways extended life, often exceeding 50 years despite the harsh Minnesota climate. For these projects, all the available information for the 14 award winners and any pertinent supporting information were reviewed including MnDOT Highway Pavement Management Application (HPMA) data and performance histories as well as the construction histories and plans. Findings from this study showed that a combination of many different factors may have contributed to the outstanding performance of these award winning roadways. These factors include constructing the roadways over a longer period of time, performing major subgrade corrections at the time of construction, use of a select granular backfill material which enhanced drainage, use of non-frost susceptible base and subbase materials in underlying layers, placing a layer of prime coat over the aggregate base before placing the asphalt layer(s), use of a staged construction which allowed the foundation to go through seasonal cycles potentially enhancing the overall pavement structural stability, use of a stabilized base in the initial construction which may provide a flexible, fatigue resistant foundation for overlay construction and provides a bound layer which may have reduced the tensile strain levels at the bottom of the upper asphalt layers and therefore increased the pavement fatigue life. Findings also showed a similar resilient modulus of asphalt mixtures at low temperatures which is the dominant temperature condition for much of the year in the state of Minnesota.

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