Research Projects

Subsurface Drainage System Benefits in Airport Pavement Performance

Assigned to Danny Xiao

This research would summarize the best of practices through survey of airports and consultants; evaluate the effectiveness of subsurface drainage configurations by investigating field performance of airport pavements with and without drainage features; quantify the cost and benefits of including subsurface drainage by comparing any potential extension in service-life with increased construction and maintenance costs; and formulate recommendations of subsurface material properties and the FAARFIELD implementation.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

It is a common practice to incorporate positive subsurface drainage features into airport pavements to address surface infiltration water. The use of such features usually increase the cost of construction and raise the question whether the increased construction cost is offset by a proportional increase in pavement performance. Although the Federal Aviation Administration specification (AC 150/5320-5, G-3.3.1) and Department of Defense specification (Unified Facilities Criteria 3-260-02) outline the criteria for requiring a subsurface drainage system, there has been no study dedicated to summarize the best of practices and to verify the benefits of using such systems. In addition, although the specification states that certain subsurface drainage layers could be considered as base layers in pavement design, the FAARFIELD design software does not consider any factors of drainage in the calculation, which may result in under- or over-estimate of the design thickness.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

This research would summarize the best of practices through survey of airports and consultants; evaluate the effectiveness of subsurface drainage configurations by investigating field performance of airport pavements with and without drainage features; quantify the cost and benefits of including subsurface drainage by comparing any potential extension in service-life with increased construction and maintenance costs; and formulate recommendations of subsurface material properties and the FAARFIELD implementation.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

Proposed Tasks
1)
Perform literature search and review
2)
Conduct agency industry survey
3)
Conduct site visits of agency and industry representatives
4)
Develop guide document for best practices
5)
Review and identify model for unbound layer and subgrade
6)
Develop a plan for treated and untreated permeable pavement models that can be incorporated in
FAARFIELD

Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

Estimated Funding
The funding for developing a guidebook for standards on best practices in the use of pervious pavement is estimated
at $400,000
Estimated Research Duration
The estimated duration for the proposed tasks outlined above is 15 months, which includes an estimated 3 months for
the ACRP approval process.

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.
  1. FAA Advisory Circulars, 150/5320-
    5D
    - Airport Drainage Design, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington
    D.C., 2013
  2. Unified Facilities Criteria, UFC 3
    -260
    -02, Pavement Design for Airfields, Department of Defense, Washington
    D.C., 2001
  3. Kathleen Hall, and Carlos Correa, Eff
    ects of Subsurface Drainage on Performance of Asphalt and Concrete
    Pavements, National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 499, Transportation Research
    Board, 2003
  4. Vincent C. Janoo, Robert Eaton, and Lynette Barna, Evaluation of Airport Subsurface Materials, US Army Corps
    of Engineers Cole Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, 1997
  5. Harry Cedergren, Ken O'Brien, and Jorge Arman, Guidelines for the Design of Subsurface Drainage Systems for
    Highway Structural Sections, FHWA
    -RD
    -72
    -30, FHWA, 1972
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Idea No. 20

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