The purpose of this research was to compare the rutting, cracking, and development of roughness of two asphalt overlay types commonly used in northern Utah and to evaluate how well the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) can predict the observed results. AC-10 and PG 64-34 asphalt overlay materials were paved in a checkerboard pattern at a test site on State Route 30 near Logan, Utah, and observed for 3 years at 6-month intervals. Primary data included rutting, cracking, and roughness. At the conclusion of the 3-year evaluation period, rut depths were 0.08 in. deeper, on average, in the AC-10 overlay compared to the PG 64-34 overlay. Fatigue cracking in the PG 64-34 overlay exceeded that in the AC-10 overlay by 0.11 percent, on average. The measured roughness of the PG 64-34 overlay was greater by 24 in./mile, on average, than the AC-10 overlay. In summary, although the AC-10 product exhibited more rutting than the PG 64-34 product, the latter exhibited more fatigue cracking and greater roughness than the former. Although the MEPDG predictions for rutting are within the range of observed rut depths, the MEPDG overestimated the AC-10 rut depth while underestimating the PG 64-34 rut depth. Furthermore, the apparent inability of the MEPDG to predict amounts of longitudinal, fatigue, and transverse cracking comparable to measured values is concerning; the MEPDG predicted negligible cracking for both overlay types for the duration of the 3-year analysis period. While the MEPDG cracking models appear to be unsuitable for predicting cracking at this site, the MEPDG predictions for roughness are shown to be within the range of observed values. Given the findings of this study, the researchers recommend that Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) engineers consider specifying the AC-10 asphalt overlay product for pavement treatments in conditions similar to those evaluated in this investigation. Even though the MEPDG predictions of rutting and roughness were generally correct, the researchers recommend that such predicted values be used as general predictions only. Further evaluation of these models, as well as the MEPDG models for longitudinal, fatigue, and transverse cracking, should be completed before the MEPDG is fully adopted by UDOT.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





asphalt, overlay, mechanistic-empirical, MEPDG, rutting, cracking, roughness