While cement treatment is a proven method for improving the strength and durability of soils and aggregates, cement hydration causes shrinkage strains in the cement-treated base (CTB) that can lead to reflection cracking in asphalt surfaces. Cracking may then cause increased pavement roughness and lead to poor ride quality. The overall purpose of this research was to utilize data collected through the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program to investigate the use and classification of CTB layers and evaluate the relative impact of cement content on the development of roughness and cracking in asphalt concrete (AC) pavements constructed using CTB layers. The data included 52 LTPP test sites, which represented 13 different states and one Canadian province, with cement contents ranging from 3.0 to 9.5 percent by weight of dry aggregate. Statistical procedures were utilized to identify the factors that were most correlated to the observed pavement performance and to develop prediction equations that transportation agencies can use to estimate the amount of roughness for a given pavement at a given age and the amount of distress associated with a particular crack severity level for a given pavement. The data collected for this study suggest that wide ranges of cement contents are used to stabilize soils within individual American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials soil classifications. The data also suggest that CTBs comprising flexible pavement structures are constructed mainly on rural facilities. A backward-selection model development technique was used to develop sets of prediction equations for roughness and cracking. Age, AC thickness, CTB thickness, and cement content were determined to be significant predictors of International Roughness Index, while age, air freezing index, AC thickness, CTB thickness, cement content, and traffic loads in thousands of equivalent single-axle loads were determined to be significant predictors of low-severity, medium-severity, and high-severity block, fatigue, longitudinal (wheel-path and non-wheel-path), and transverse cracking in AC pavements constructed using CTB layers. Investigation of the relationships between CTB modulus and the development of roughness and cracking is recommended for further study.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





cement-treated base, long-term pavement performance, cracking, roughness