We have come a long way since experience based road design of 1950s, to today’s Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guideline (MEPDG). However, MEPDG being expensive and heavily dependent on software programs, AASHTO 1993 Empirical Pavement Designcontinues to form the basis for pavement design even today; in most parts of the world, including in India (IRC Design). There have been many technological improvements since the AASHO road test carried out in Ottawa, Illinois between 1958 & 1960, and there is a scope to take benefit of these improvements in optimizing the design.
The new design approach proposed in this paper, takes into account, the new technological improvements since 1960, enabling optimization of pavement design. The three major improvements, namely (i) Higher Layer Coefficients due to stronger materials, (ii) Higher Drainage Coefficients due to nanotechnology for waterproofed layers and (iii) Higher moduli of subgrade due to better soil stabilization technology; enable designing pavements that are 14 times better (in terms of ESAL value) at zero extra cost, as compared to conventional designs.
This paper puts forth, a new design approach, taking advantage of the opportunities presented to a pavement designer, by the new nanotechnology. The new optimized pavement design is green, sustainable & economical; while remaining within the AASHTO 1993 guidelines.