Forensic investigation of pavement failures

Smith, Richard Boyd (2004) Forensic investigation of pavement failures. [USQ Project]


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Forensic engineering can be defined as the application of the engineering sciences to
the investigation of failures or other performance problems, with a focus on
uncovering causes so that improved facilities can be engineered.
The investigation of road pavement failures can be done in a systematic manner using
the principles of forensic engineering. The methodology developed in this project has
been based on similar work previously conducted in various locations, mainly in
Australia and the United States. The focus of this project is on creating a systematic,
and yet simple and easy to understand guide that is flexible enough for use in a variety
of situations.
The investigation methodology developed was trialled for several pavement failures in
Southern District of the Queensland Department of Main Roads, to evaluate the
effectiveness of the method for everyday practical use.
It was found that the method was good as a general guide, particularly for people with
limited experience in the area of pavements and road engineering. The expertise of
the investigator is however an important factor in correctly diagnosing the pavement
failure cause and determining the appropriate rehabilitation treatment, and so the use
of experienced personnel would generally be expected to lead to a better diagnosis.
The study showed that for most pavement failures it is necessary to carry out some
form of materials sampling and testing, if conclusive evidence regarding the failure
cause is to be found. Otherwise, interpretation of the limited data available can be
difficult, or even misleading, resulting in improper conclusion being made regarding
the failure cause.
The pavement failure investigation methodology developed in this project can serve as
a useful guide for the investigation of pavement failures. The method, combined with
the experience of the investigator and adequate materials investigation, will help to
ensure that the cause of a pavement failure can be reliably determined.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:14
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: forensic engineering, road pavement failures, Queensland Department of Main Roads
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090502 Construction Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400504 Construction engineering

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