Leading cement and concrete organizations unveiled an online pavement design tool that they said offers features and benefits never before available to the pavement design community. Primary sponsors are the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA), the Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) Research & Education Foundation, and the Portland Cement Association (PCA). Additional funding and support came from the RCC Pavement Council. The RMC Research and Education Foundation is affiliated with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA).
The free PavementDesigner (http://pavementdesigner.org) was created for city, county, and consulting engineers; academia; or anyone involved in design of roadway, industrial, and parking area pavements. According to the sponsors, PavementDesigner improves upon traditional pavement design software programs, and provides the following features:
- No cost — The platform is offered completely free of charge, eliminating the expense and burden of ordering software and updates, licenses, etc.
- Immediate access — The platform brings the industry’s best pavement design programs together into a single website that allows professionals to design pavements immediately.
- Cloud storage/retrieval — Users have the option of creating a user ID and password to save their design work, as well as to retrieve projects using any digital device.
- Automatic updates and improvements — The online system is automatically updated when new content or details are added. Users will not have to download updated software or patches.
PavementDesigner is built on updated versions of ACPA’s StreetPave, AirPave, and WinPAS programs, as well as PCA’s PCAPave program. The portal also includes design guidance, substructure sensitivity, and asphalt design evaluation capabilities.
“ACPA was excited to serve as the project leader for PavementDesigner, working closely with our industry partners and our software designer,” said Eric Ferrebee, EIT, ACPA’s director of Technical Services. “We are pleased to introduce all in one place the industry’s best design solutions for concrete and cement-based pavement design.
“PavementDesigner.org represents a dramatic shift in solutions availability to designers of streets, roads, parking lots, and industrial facilities,” he said. “By bringing multiple programs together in one package and eliminating the cost and time to download software, updates, and patches, we have removed barriers and enabled designers to select the best option for pavement designs.”
“This comprehensive but easy-to-use pavement design tool not only covers full-depth concrete, but also provides design solutions for concrete overlays and composite pavements,” said Wayne Adaska, P.E., PCA’s director of Pavements. “Further, the tool includes other cement-based materials like roller-compacted concrete, cement-treated base, and full-depth reclamation with cement.”
Designers also can reach out for design support, using contact information found on the website to reach a network of pavement design experts.
PavementDesigner guides the user through three basic stages of pavement design. The user first selects the project type (parking, street, or intermodal facility). The system then guides the user through project-level details and design of the pavement structure. Each module has help screens and conversions built in to assist the user in entering pavement structure details. After pavement structure information is entered and calculated, the user moves to a summary screen where the pavement design may be reviewed, analyzed, printed, and/or saved.
“PavementDesigner presents a unique experience to the user, which logically steps the designer through the pavement design process,” said Brian Killingsworth, P.E., NRMCA’s executive vice president of Local Paving. “The user experience and functionality of the website were foremost in our minds throughout the development. Couple that with state-of-the-art technical methods and reporting and the user will find the design process to be exceptional.”
The portal also includes helpful resources, which are readily available from the sidebar. Users can view a PavementDesigner introductory video; view the platform’s map and methodology visual to see solutions and a process flow; and watch a video that shows how to use the portal to design a jointed plain concrete pavement.
The resource section also includes details from drawings of various concrete pavement structures, as well as images, descriptions, and web links to other resources and tools designed to assist pavement designers and others gain more insights about specific types and applications for concrete pavements. Additional training and support materials will be added as feedback is received.