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Mechanistic-Empirical (ME) Pavement Design
MDOT is currently working towards implementing the new AASHTOWare ME Pavement Design software. This site provides progress reports, as well as links to other ME-related resources.
ME Pavement Design is the latest generation of pavement design methodologies. It utilizes the theories of mechanics of materials to predict the pavement's response (stresses and strains) to load. The pavement's response is then correlated into damage, which is accumulated over the design life and results in predicted distresses over time. Climatic conditions (temperatures, moisture levels, etc.) are taken into account through the material properties of the constituent pavement layers. Finally, the models used to predict distresses are calibrated using observed distress amounts (the empirical portion of the name).