Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Qing Lu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Fred L. Mannering, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Manjriker Gunaratne, Ph.D.


Distress Types, Random Parameter Linear Regression Model


Some highway agencies in the United States are experiencing frequent distresses in asphalt pavements on bridge approaches/departures. Commonly observed distresses include alligator cracking and rutting, which reduce roadway smoothness and safety. To lessen the distresses in pavements it is needed to investigate the extent and root causes of the problem. Based on Florida highway conditions, this research study mainly focused on1. Literature review and identification of the extent of the problem; 2. Collection of relevant pavement condition data and descriptive analysis; 3. Development of statistical models to determine factors influencing the distresses in asphalt pavements on bridge approaches/departures. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first study that uses a statistical model to determine the factors that are responsible for causing asphalt pavement distresses on bridge approaches/departures.

As part of the literature review, a nationwide questionnaire survey was targeted towards U.S state DOTs. The data collection and analysis specific to the Florida highways found that in 2015 on Florida Interstate highways, about 27% bridges with asphalt pavements on their approaches/departures showed signs of cracking, and about 20% bridges have noticeable rutting in their approach or departure pavements.

A random parameter linear regression model was applied to examine the factors that may influence distresses in asphalt pavements in Florida. Pavement condition was evaluated based on the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) 2015 pavement condition data and video log images, and other relevant data were collected from various sources such as FDOT Roadway Characteristics Inventory (RCI) database, FDOT pavement management reports, and FDOT Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey reports. A constraint existed in the availability of the GPR data that can give pavement layer thickness, which limited the number of bridge approach pavement sections included in the statistical modeling. Based on the limited data, the estimated results from the random parameter linear regression model showed that the variables influencing distresses in asphalt pavements on bridge approaches/departures, in terms of rutting and roughness, may include pavement age, annual average daily truck traffic, and surface friction course.