Pavement distress and performance modeling
Although a precise relationship between pavement distress and performance has not been clearly defined, there is a consensus that the ability of a pavement to withstand traffic loads and serve the motoring public in a safe and efficient manner is adversely affected by observable surficial distress. Distress, if untreated, ultimately becomes manifested as roughness which can have adverse effects on surface drainage, causing water to pond on the surface, which in turn leads to negative impacts on both the performance of the pavement and on vehicle safety. A review of research efforts also indicates that relatively little systematic modeling has been done to examine the interrelationship between distress and serviceability despite its crucial importance. This dissertation presents a framework for examining such a relationship using pavement roughness as a direct quantitative measure of serviceability and cracking as a surrogate for distress.