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Section 2: Pavement Design Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

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2.1 Communication

Communication between the district pavement engineer, planning staff, maintenance staff, construction staff and area engineers is key to designing, constructing, and maintaining quality pavements.

District Engineers are responsible for ensuring this communication takes place and documenting communication channels in a district pavement design standard operating procedure (SOP). This SOP shall be reviewed and updated by September 1st annually with a copy emailed to CST-M&P. E-mail CST-M&P if no changes are made from the previous year. One component of this communication process is to hold a Pavement Design Concept Conference. The general approach to pavement design should be refined in a Pavement Design Concept Conference after the project is programmed and in the early stages of plans, specifications and estimates (PS&E) development. The designer/project engineer presents an initial pavement design report and provides any additional information to assist in selection of the final pavement design.

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2.2 Conference Participants

Depending on the size or sensitivity of the project, all or some of the following individuals shall participate in the conference:

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2.3 Discussion Items

Topics to be discussed during pavement design meetings or conferences are outlined in the district SOP. They include:

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  • communication to staff (including maintenance) of this SOP
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  • communication of the project scope and available funding and pavement design strategies (district-wide policies and project-specific considerations)
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  • existing pavement history and material and structural analysis. Examples include:
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  • equivalent single axle loads (ESAL) and the average ten heaviest wheel loads daily (ATHWLD) review and adjustments. For example, Transportation Planning and Programming (TPP) maps and data for ESALs generated through current data systems may not account for specific truck generators or may overestimate truck loads or percent trucks in the traffic stream.
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  • Modified Texas Triaxial Check process
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  • plan for use of recycled and existing materials
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  • material selection (including selection of hot-mix asphalt [HMA]/mixture type, binder type, type of flexible base, treatment of bases, etc.)
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  • pavement design material properties
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  • Wet Surface Crash Reduction Program (WSCRP)1
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  • need for and type of subgrade treatment
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  • alternate pavement designs (Alternate materials selection - not pavement type. Alternates to limited competition pavement rehabilitation techniques such as Thin-bonded Wearing Courses [Novachip] should be addressed.)
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  • alternate pavement types for new or total reconstruction projects
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  • pavement design strategies based on ESALs (chart or descriptive)
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  • special considerations, such as:
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  • use and methodology for potential vertical rise (PVR) design consideration
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  • pavement design development and approval process
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2.4 Final Authority for Pavement Design

Authority for pavement design approval may not be delegated below the District Engineer, except for metropolitan districts. In metropolitan districts, pavement design approval authority may be delegated to the Deputy District Engineer, district Director of Construction, Operations, or Transportation, Planning and Development for projects with estimated construction costs of less than $20 million.


1. Available through the TxDOT Intranet only.

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