Chapter 1: Introduction

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Section 1: Manual Overview

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1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this manual is to provide the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), consultant firms, and contractors a detailed pavement overview covering materials, design, construction, and maintenance considerations for traditionally-let TxDOT projects. This manual:

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  • serves as an extensive pavement reference that users can browse to look up typical design values, methods, practices and resources
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  • provides approved policies and procedures for pavement design for use on TxDOT projects
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  • provides pavement engineers with a uniform, streamlined process for designing pavements
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  • includes a list of available training courses for pavement engineers and links to web-based training for pavement design and analysis programs used by TxDOT
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  • serves as a guide to pavement engineers for selecting pavement rehabilitation strategies
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  • addresses related topics that a pavement engineer needs such as procedures for changing load zones, superheavy load analysis and pavement forensics.
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1.2 Comprehensive Development Agreements

Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs) are comprised of contracting methods that include design, construction and maintenance of highways. Under CDAs, there are two major types of projects: concession and non-concession.

Concession projects require a long-term (more than 20 years) maintenance agreement. In this case, performance (ride, rut, distress, etc.) requirements are defined as criteria to be maintained on the project throughout the term of the agreement.

Non-concession projects have a short-term or no maintenance agreements. In this case, design and construction specifications are prescribed for projects.

The scope of this manual includes only traditional TxDOT projects.

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1.3 Organization

This manual is organized into thirteen chapters:

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  • Chapter 1, Introduction. This chapter provides an overview of the manual, policy overview, a list of the training courses related to pavements and highway materials and also provides contacts for pavement and materials related topics.
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  • Chapter 2, Pavement Design Process. This chapter provides definitions of pavement types, pavement type selection, the approved methods for pavement design, pavement design categories, pavement design process, information needed for pavement design, and pavement design reports.
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  • Chapter 3, Materials Investigation and Selection Information. This chapter covers geotechnical investigations, treatment guidelines, flexible base selection, aggregate types and classes, treated subgrade and base courses, performance graded binders (PG binders), hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavement mixtures, concrete materials, reinforcing steel, hydraulic cement concrete and also geosynthetics.
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  • Chapter 4, Pavement Evaluation. This chapter provides an overview of pavement evaluation and non-destructive testing for pavements.
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  • Chapter 5, Flexible Pavement Design. This chapter provides an overview of the types of flexible pavements, design parameters and typical ranges, backcalculation methodology, pavement detours and widening, and perpetual flexible pavement design.
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  • Chapter 6, Flexible Pavement Construction. This chapter covers subgrade and base construction, surface preparation, plant operation, mix transport, mix placement, and compaction.
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  • Chapter 7, Flexible Pavement Rehabilitation. This chapter covers the different rehabilitation options for flexible pavements including hot in-place recycling, cold in-place recycling, geosynthetics, flexible base thickening, full depth reclamation, hot-mix asphalt (HMA) overlays, whitetopping and surface treatments.
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  • Chapter 8, Rigid Pavement Design. This chapter covers the approved pavement design methods for rigid pavements, rigid pavement design process, recommended typical values, thickness determination, concrete paving standards, bonded and unbonded concrete overlays and thin whitetopping.
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  • Chapter 9, Rigid Pavement Construction. This chapter covers concrete mix design, concrete plant operation, delivery of concrete, reinforcing steel placement, paving operations, fixed-form paving, slip-form paving, placing concrete, finishing operations, joints and texture requirements.
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  • Chapter 10, Rigid Pavement Rehabilitation. This chapter covers the different rehabilitation options for rigid pavements including full-depth repair, half-depth repair, bonded and unbonded concrete overlays, stitching, dowel bar retrofit, joint repairs, diamond grinding, thin HMA overlays, and retrofitting concrete shoulders.
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  • Chapter 11, Ride Quality. This chapter briefly discusses the units of measurement, equipment for evaluating ride quality, pay schedules, smoothness opportunities, and analysis of ride data.
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  • Chapter 12, Premature Distress Investigations. This chapter provides an overview of premature pavement failures, investigation team technical assistance and investigation process.
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  • Chapter 13, Load Zoning and Super Heavy Load Analysis. This chapter covers the procedures for changing load zones on highways (including county roads and bridges), procedure for setting emergency load zones on roads, super heavy load analysis, damage from super heavy load moves and damage claim procedure.

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