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Title: Considerations for Rigid vs. Flexible Pavement Designs When Allowed as Alternate Bids

Funding Agency: Texas Department of Transportation

Research Supervisor: Two Universities are joining for this research effort; Texas A&M, and UTEP. The lead research supervisor from UTEP is Dr. Carlos M. Chang Albitres, Ph.D. PE

Length: 1 year

The use of pavement alternates should lead to significant savings to TxDOT if the alternates use equivalent pavement structures that meet TxDOT's performance standards over a specified period of service. Alternate bids should attract more contractors, thus increasing competitiveness and hopefully resulting in lower construction costs. Potential savings to users are also expected. However, there are situations where pavement alternate may not be the appropriate strategy. This research focused on the development of guidelines and a user friendly tool for considering alternate pavement designs, rigid and flexible, when allowed as alternate bids. The scope of the project included reviewing the current methods used by U.S. Departments of Transportation for pavement type selection, interviewing key personnel from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to identify the data input needs and factors involved in the comparison of pavement designs and pavement type selection, conducting a side-by-side comparison of pavement designs using current TxDOT's methods, preparing guidelines for analyzing pavement structure alternatives, and developing the Alternate Pavement Design Analysis Tool (APDAT).