Full-Depth and Granular Base Course Design for Frost Areas

by Robert A. Eaton, Research Civ. Engr.; Geotechnical Research Branch, USACRREL, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, N.H. 03755,
James O. Payne, USACRREL, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, N.H. 03755,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 27-39

Document Type: Journal Paper


When properly designed and constructed, the Asphalt Institute full-depth pavement concept can be a viable design alternative for seasonal frost areas. The Corps of Engineers reduced subgrade strength frost design proved to be an upper bound or conservative design under these test conditions. For each design, two different thicknesses were studied in test sections placed over 12 in. of prepared subgrade and tested under light traffic conditions in Hanover, New Hampshire. After design traffic loading was exceeded, pavement failure occurred as expected in the thinner full-depth section. The thinner reduced subgrade strength section was still in good condition after experiencing twice its design loading. Frost penetrations, pavement n-factors (surface transfer coefficients), Benkelman Beam deflections, and the spring subgrade moisture contents are also compared for the two designs.

Subject Headings: Pavement design | Subgrades | Granular materials | Base course | Frost | Asphalt pavements | Pavement deflection | Traffic signals | New Hampshire | United States

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