Treated versus Untreated Aggregate Bases for Flexible Pavements: Nationwide Comparative Case Study Academic Article uri icon


  • Aggregates constitute a major part of pavement construction. The strength, durability, and quality of the aggregate affects the overall performance of the pavement structure. Materials sourced near a construction site do not always meet the strength required for pavement construction, however, and haulage of aggregates of the required quality is often costly. For better use of locally available materials, stabilizing agents such as lime, cement, asphalt cement, and fly ash are often used to enhance the strength of the local aggregates. Pavement performance is influenced by both the structure itself and the layer materials present in it. The stiffness of the base layer, for instance, influences the tensile strain in the asphalt layer and compressive strains in the subgrade soil. The tensile strains at the bottom of the asphalt layer and compressive strains in the top zone of the subgrade soils are the main response components affecting fatigue cracking and rutting, respectively. In this study, field performance [rutting, cracking, and roughness measured in relation to the International Roughness Index (IRI)] of pavement sections with treated and untreated base layers were compared to determine the effects of stabilizing agents. In relation to fatigue cracking and pavement surface roughness, the treated sections outperformed the untreated sections. The average values of all three distresses showed better performance for the treated base layer sections with fatigue cracking averaging 2.2 times lower than the untreated sections. The combined rutting and IRI of the treated base layer sections averaged about 0.10in. and 1.4 times lower than those of the untreated base layer sections, respectively.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Souliman, M. I., GC, H., Isied, M. M., & Walubita, L. F.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • February 2020