What Is Pavement Structural Design?

You may think all pavement is created equal, or that its application is basically the same no matter where it’s installed. While these are easy assumptions to make, they are far from accurate. The demands for different applications — such as a parking lot, loading zone, or even a home driveway — will all be different. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t maximize the useful life of pavement or ensure its ability to fit your needs. Each paving project demands fresh consideration and an open mind in terms of how to best do the job.

There are many considerations to factor in when planning a new asphalt surface. For example, the depth of the base and subbase or the exact kind of paving mixture used could vary greatly at different elevations, grades, or locations.

This is why pavement structural design exists.

Professionals capable of pavement structural design investigate the demands and limits of a project to determine the best way to pave an area. They help ensure the success of a paving project and the functionality of the finished paved surface.

Understanding Pavement Structural Design

Every pavement project requires different amounts of pavement and base, a different number of layers of pavement and a variety of materials. Hiring a knowledgeable professional to evaluate an area and determine the best way to apply pavement can help you maximize the lifespan and usefulness of your paved surface. Pavement structural design helps ensure that your paved surface will perform as intended and retain its usefulness for many years to come.

In order to determine the best way to design a paved surface, these professionals need to know what kind of traffic you’re expecting. Even home driveways may need to accommodate some commercial traffic. Understanding the anticipated use and maximum weight of vehicles using the surface will ensure a better design.

Do you have a loved one with mobility challenges that uses a mobile shuttle regularly? Do you have fuel oil delivered to your home? Are you a frequent online shopper who has massive delivery vehicles pulling in frequently? Do you use any large machinery or park your commercial truck at home when you’re not working? Local weather patterns and other environmental factors will also be carefully considered.

Effective Pavement Structural Design Pays Off in Longevity

Is there anything more frustrating than finding a crack in a newly paved surface? Especially in extreme cases, such as sudden weather issues or exposure to extremely heavy objects, pavement may buckle. Whether it’s one crack that slowly spreads and multiplies or a rapid deterioration of new pavement, these kinds of issues can be quite expensive to remedy. You may have to remove and then replace the poorly planned or designed pavement. Even if you’re covering it up, the cost may quickly exceed what it would have cost to do a better job in the first place.

It’s important to note that pavement structural design can also help with rehabilitating an existing paved surface. Depending on your needs and the existing paved surface, it may be possible to integrate existing paving into the designs for the upgraded or repaired surface. Professionals employ different approaches to pavement structural design, but the intention is typically the same. Ideally, strong design work will ensure a functional paved surface that will remain in good condition for years to come.

Design professionals understand the applications of the various materials used in paving and can determine what mixture at what thickness will be ideal for your needs.

Paving may appear simple, but extensive planning and consideration goes into the most successful projects. When you invest in asphalt paving, you want your freshly paved surface to last for years and to accommodate anticipated traffic with ease. Pavement structural design can help maximize the lifespan and durability of your paved surface. Contact Action Asphalt Paving to discuss your project with a staff member and ensure the job is done right — from initial design to final execution.

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