Manual Notice: 2017-1

From: Tracy D. Cain, P.E., Director, Construction Division

Manual: Pavement Manual (formerly known as the Pavement Design Guide)

Effective Date: April 01, 2017



This manual notice is intended to transmit changes to the content of the Pavement Manual, formerly known as the Pavement Design Guide.



In addition to the following changes, numerous minor editorial revisions have been performed throughout the manual.

Chapter 1, Introduction

Chapter 2, Pavement Design Process

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  • Chapter 2, Section 2, Pavement Design Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
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    • Added requirements on a completion date for reviewing and updating district’s SOP and submitting a copy of the SOP to CST-M&P. Revised sentence under, final authority for pavement design, to allow district director of operations the approval of pavement designs in metropolitan districts.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 3, District Pavement Engineer’s Role
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    • Revised “Job Functions for District Pavement Engineer” document. Revised required and recommended training for district pavement engineer in Table 2-1.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 4, Pavement Types
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    • Added a paragraph regarding traffic loading distribution on thicker HMA sections and/or sections with treated bases.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 5, Pavement Type Selection
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    • List principal and secondary factors to consider in the selection process.
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    • Removed information about alternate bidding and recommended screening criteria for an alternate bid contract. Added link to RealCost computer software for performing life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA).
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    • Deleted information about Texas pavement type selection (TxPTS) computer program and life-cycle cost analysis program developed by CTR.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 6, Approved Pavement Design Methods
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    • Added FPS 21 analytical method for designing flexible pavements and TxCRCP-ME for designing continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP).
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    • Revised section to allow the use of AASHTO design procedure (1993) for CPCD designs only and not to be used for flexible pavement designs.
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    • Revised sentence regarding the impact of swelling foundation soils is no longer considered in FPS 21.
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    • Added recommendation on mechanistic design check when the FPS-generated pavement surface thickness is 2-4 in.
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    • Removed reference to FPS-11.
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    • Added information about allowing the FPS 21 designer to estimate the soil triaxial class if the in-situ soil PI or type is known.
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    • Removed “experience-based design” section.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 7, Pavement Design Categories
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    • Revised figure 2-8, Design process for new pavement/full reconstruction.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 8, Information Needed for Pavement Design
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    • Deleted reference to alternate bidding throughout the section.
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    • Added information under “adjusting TPP-supplied traffic data” and removed paragraph regarding TPP mainframe traffic Log (T-log) for estimating traffic data.
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    • Removed reference to Tex-231-F,”Static Creep test”, for determining HMA modulus.
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    • Added a sentence on last paragraph about district’s taking adequate measures for evaluating existing pavement conditions before rehabilitation.
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  • Chapter 2, Section 9, Pavement Design Reports
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    • Revised paragraph indicating when a full design report is not required.
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    • Added the use of TxACOL computer software for designing HMA overlays of rigid pavements.
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    • Removed requirements for the approval of the use of grade 1 flexible base.
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    • List TxCRCP-ME design method for CRCP and AASHTO DARWin 3.1 design method for CPCD rigid pavements and removed TSLAB86 design method for rigid pavements.
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    • Revised table 2-5, procedures for completing the pavement design report.
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    • Added a requirement to determine the appropriate surface aggregate classification (SAC) using Form 2088 as part of the flexible pavement design only. This form needs to be included in the pavement design report.

Chapter 3, Materials Investigation and Selection Information

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  • Chapter 3, Section 2, Geotechnical Investigation for Pavement Structures
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    • Revised table 3-1, Existing data sources.
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    • List the New PMIS (PA) as TxDOT’s new pavement management system.
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    • Information on Texas triaxial class (TTC) was moved to chapter 5, section 3.
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    • Revised table 3-3, removed SPA, PSPA and DSPA testing devices and added the Veris soil mapping system for measuring soil conductivity and the total pavement acceptance device (TPAD).
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    • Added soil organic content test under subsurface exploration.
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    • Revised information on potential vertical rise (PVR) and added PVR treatment strategies.
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    • Revised treatment guidelines section.
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    • Added findings from research project about soil organic content.
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  • Chapter 3, Section 3, Flexible Base Selection
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  • Chapter 3, Section 4, Treated Subgrade and Base Courses
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    • Section renamed to “Treated Subgrade and Base Course.”
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    • New section. This section includes information for the treatment of subgrades and base courses using cement, lime, fly ash, emulsion, foamed asphalt, and asphalt to meet engineering requirements.
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  • Chapter 3, Section 5, Performance Graded Binders (PG Binders)
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    • Information moved from Section 4.
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    • Removed PGEXEL3.EXE program and replaced it with “TxDOT’s PG-SPG grade selection.xlsm” computer program and the Federal Highway Administration’s LTPPBinder program for binder selection.
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    • Updated PG binder selection information.
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  • Chapter 3, Section 6, Hot-Mix Asphalt Pavement Mixtures
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    • Section renamed to “Hot-Mix Asphalt Pavement Mixtures.”
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    • Information moved from section 5.
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    • Updated information to concur with the 2014 specification book.
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    • Renamed from “wet weather accident reduction program” (WWARP) to “wet surface crash reduction program” (WSCRP). Updated WSCRP information.
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    • Updated table 3-10, Tex-204-F, Mix design options.
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    • Removed use of perpetual pavements and added it in chapter 5, section 5.
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  • Chapter 3, Section 7, Concrete Materials
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    • Renamed to “Concrete Materials.”
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    • Updated information on cement types and blended cements. Added information on fly ash, aggregates, water, and chemical admixtures.
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  • Chapter 3, Section 8, Reinforcing Steel
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  • Chapter 3, Section 9, Hydraulic Cement Concrete
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    • Updated information on primary ingredients and workability, durability and adequate strength. Updated table 3-11, concrete classes.
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  • Chapter 3, Section 10, Geosynthetics in Pavement Structures
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    • Changed the section order for clarification.
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    • Updated information on geosynthetic materials, applications, specifications and testing. Updated Table 3-14, departmental materials specifications (DMS) used for geosynthetics.

Chapter 4, Pavement Evaluation

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  • Chapter 4, Section 1, Overview
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    • Updated information on pavement functional conditions, and non-destructive and destructive testing.
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  • Chapter 4, Section 2, Visual Pavement Condition Surveys
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    • Updated information on flexible and rigid pavements visual survey condition categories.
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  • Chapter 4, Section 3, Non-Destructive Evaluation of Pavement Functional Properties
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  • Chapter 4, Section 4, Non-Destructive Evaluation of Pavement Structural Properties
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    • Updated list of non-destructive tools used in TxDOT and their descriptions. Added the use of the modulus temperature correction program (MTCP) under falling weight deflectometer. Backcalculation of deflection data was moved to Chapter 5, Section 4.
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    • Added information on evaluating deflection data for load transfer on rigid pavements. Revised Table 4-1, typical dielectric values for various pavement materials.
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    • Removed COLORMAP software and replaced it with PaveCheck for analysis of raw GPR data.
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  • Chapter 4, Section 5, Destructive Evaluation of Pavement Structural Properties
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    • Updated information on field sampling procedures. Added the augering procedure.
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  • Chapter 4, Section 6, Geotechnical Investigation for Pavement Structures

Chapter 5, Flexible Pavement Design

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  • Chapter 5, All Sections
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  • Chapter 5, Section 3, FPS 21 Design Parameters
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    • Introduction - Removed option to use older versions of FPS and AASHTO (1993) for flexible pavement designs.
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    • Data Input Components - Removed swelling potential, PVR, and swelling rate analysis from FPS 21 (Table 5-1).
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    • Project Information Input Screen (Input page 1) - Added a state map with links to each district. Added the function to recall previously saved files for editing and further analysis.
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    • Design Confidence Level - Instruct to only use Level ‘D’ by exception since designs generated will be very conservative.
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    • Final Serviceability Index - Modified “Minimum Serviceability Index” to “Final Serviceability Index.”
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    • District Temperature Constant - FPS 21 is set to ‘31’ as the default value.
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    • Interest Rate (%) - FPS 21 is set to 7% as the default value.
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    • Number of Output Pages - Deleted Section. This option was removed from FPS 21.
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    • Traffic Data - Methodology cited in Chapter 2, Section 9, is allowed to adjust TPP report traffic loading.
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    • Detour Design for Overlays - The built-in help addresses the five models. Graphics of the selected model are displayed when clicking on the input field.
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    • Total Number of Lanes - If a facility includes a continuous left turn lane, it has to be counted as a lane if the highway is restriped/partitioned to cause the lane to be designed for through traffic.
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    • Design Type - Section moved from Chapter 2. Section includes the seven basic design types and provides instructions on how to operate the “Design Type” interactive menu. FPS 21 has the capability of designing pavement structures with up to six layers over the subgrade.
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    • Layer Code (CDE) - Section removed.
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    • Minimum Depth - It is directed not to use ‘zero’ as the minimum thickness except in the overlay design mode (Design Type 6), and to check the district SOP for guidelines on fixed or minimum layer thicknesses.
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    • FPS Pavement Design Results - It is recommended to run the Mechanistic Check, in addition to the Modified Texas Triaxial Design Check, for any FPS design result that produces HMA surface from 2-4 thick.
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    • Subgrade Triaxial Class Number - Additional procedures included for obtaining estimated Texas Triaxial Class values for the subgrade soils, either based on county-specific soil types or from basic soil properties such as plasticity index.
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  • Chapter 5, Section 4, FPS 21 Modulus Inputs and Backcalculation Methodology
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    • Added new section.
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    • Modulus inputs for HMA are based on a temperature of 77°F.
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    • Virgin and Modified-in-Place Materials - Updated recommended design values for Seal Coats, Dense-Graded Hot-Mix Asphalt, Superpave, Stone-Matrix Asphalt, Emulsified Asphalt Treatment (Base), and Flexible Base.
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    • Backcalculation Methodology - When determining the seed moduli range for the surface, MODULUS assumes the layer is HMA and automatically fills the min/max seed values in accordance with the temperature posted. Where non-bituminous materials are the surface during testing, the user must insert seed values commensurate with the type of material tested.
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    • Additional Adjustments to Backcalculated Modulus Values - Section added. It lists correction factors applied to backcalculated HMA and Flexible Base values.
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  • Chapter 5, Section 5, Pavement Detours and Pavement Widening
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    • Pavement Widening - Figure 5-2 added to illustrate recommended widening joint locations for Super2 construction.
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  • Chapter 5, Section 6, Perpetual Pavement Design and Mechanistic Design Guidelines
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    • Designing Perpetual Pavement Using FPS 21 - Updated multiple design parameters listed in Table 5-6 (pavement design type, analysis period, confidence level, and time to first overlay). Updated procedure to conduct the mechanistic check for perpetual pavements.

Chapter 6, Flexible Pavement Construction

Chapter 7, Flexible Pavement Rehabilitation

Chapter 8, Rigid Pavement Design

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  • Chapter 8, Section 1, Overview
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  • Chapter 8, Section 2, Approved Design Method
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  • Chapter 8, Section 3, Rigid Pavement Design Process for CRCP
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    • Added Section 3 to describe inputs for TxCRCP-ME design program and process.
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  • Chapter 8, Section 4, Rigid Pavement Design Process for CPCD
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    • Revised section to only pertain to CPCD design.
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    • Removed allowance to use k-values other than 300 pci and the use of plate load testing to verify k-value during construction.
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  • Chapter 8, Section 6, Terminal Anchor Joint Selection for Concrete Pavement
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    • Removed the original Section 6, “Concrete Pavement Standards,” and replaced it with information regarding terminal anchor joints for concrete pavement.

Chapter 9, Rigid Pavement Construction

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  • Chapter 9, Section 3, Concrete Plant Operation
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    • Revised section content to coincide with current Item 421 requirements.
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  • Chapter 9, Section 6, Paving Operations
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    • Added information on stingless concrete pavement, placing concrete, and revised texturing section to coincide with Item 360 requirements.
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  • Chapter 9, Section 7, Joints
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    • Added information on longitudinal construction joints, expansion joints, and joints sealing.

Chapter 10, Rigid Pavement Rehabilitation

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  • Chapter 10, Section 4, Bonded Concrete Overlay
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    • Removed evaluation criteria for bonded concrete overlays from this chapter. These are included in Chapter 8.
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    • Added description of saw cutting and joint sealing.
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  • Chapter 10, Section 5, Unbonded Concrete Overlay
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    • Removed evaluation criteria for unbonded concrete overlays from this chapter. These are included in Chapter 8.
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  • Chapter 10, Section 6, Stitching
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    • Added findings from project 0-5444 on Joint Separation in Concrete Pavements.

Chapter 11, Ride Quality

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  • Added a new chapter that discusses ride quality of pavement surfaces.

Chapter 12, Premature Distress Investigations

Chapter 13, Load Zoning and Super Heavy Load Analysis

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  • Chapter 13, All Sections
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  • Chapter 13, Section 1, Overview of Load Zoning
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    • Removed the Deputy Director as having authority to approve the executive orders.
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  • Chapter 13, Section 2, Changing Load Zones on Roads
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    • Updated instructions in Table 13-1.
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    • CST-M&P notifies the affected district by email (not phone) and updates the publicly accessible load zone map.
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  • Chapter 13, Section 3, Emergency Load Zones on Roads
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    • Updated instructions in Table 13-2.
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    • CST-M&P notifies the district and the Department of Motor Vehicles of approval and updates the publicly accessible load zone map.
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  • Chapter 13, Section 6, Super Heavy Load Evaluation Process
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    • Updated flowchart of the super heavy load evaluation process (Figure 13-3).
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    • When the maximum trailer tire load is equal or greater than 10,000 lb., CST-M&P will recommend additional pavement evaluation or request a reroute.


Contact the Construction Division, Materials & Pavements Section (CST-M&P), at (512) 506-5808 for further information regarding the methods in this manual.



Past manual notices are available in a pdf archive.

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