AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design is the next generation of pavement design software, which builds upon the NCHRP mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide, and expands and improves the features of the original prototype computational software. AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design is a production-ready software tool to support the day-to-day operations of public and private pavement engineers.

It calculates pavement responses (stresses, strains, and deflections) based on traffic, climate, and materials parameters to predict the progression of key pavement distresses and smoothness loss over time for asphalt concrete (AC) and portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements.

These outputs are the basis for checking the adequacy of a trial design. AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design is a powerful program that incorporates a user-friendly interface with several functional, stability, and performance enhancements, such as improved runtime, automatic update notification, an SI version, inclusion of highway capacity limits, climate data viewers and climate summaries, batch processing, multi-project editing, project compare tool, error checking for individual inputs and forms, provisions for sensitivity analysis, thickness optimization, ability to import backcalculation data, database functionality at enterprise and workstation level, a structural response query tool, and improved reporting.

For many pavement engineers, it is a paradigm shift away from a nomograph-based design to one based on engineering principles and mechanics. Instead of entering basic site and project information into an equation and getting an empirically based pavement design output, the engineer can use detailed traffic, materials and environmental information to assess the short and long-term performance of a pavement design using nationally and/or locally calibrated models.

This software is a comprehensive pavement design and analysis tool, capable of providing support and insights to highway decision-makers, academia and consultants. This state-of-the-practice tool represents the current advancements in pavement design. It also provides tools to optimize pavement designs based on given requirements allowing the user to evaluate and fine-tune the design. The database utility allows users to save final designs as well as individual input parameters such that these can subsequently be used for future designs, various distress and performance analyses, and for other management purposes.

AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design reflects a change in the methods and procedures engineers use to design pavement structures. It takes advantage of the advances in material mechanics, axle-load spectra and climate data for predicting pavement performance. While this software does not answer all of the challenges of pavement design, it is a quantum leap forward from previous pavement design procedures and facilitates future development in pavement modeling and analysis.

AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design Tools

Pavement ME Design includes several tools to assist the pavement engineer:

  1. DRIP performs hydraulic design computations for the subsurface drainage analysis of pavements;
  2. XML Validator checks for most of the errors present in the xml files. It can also check for recommended ranges for data values;
  3. MapME creates ME Design project files (DGPX) seeded with geospatially-referenced information relevant to the analysis and design of your pavement;
  4. File and analysis APIs Tools include JULEA and ICM;
  5. Calibration Assistance helps with local calibration efforts so the user can determine whether there is any bias in the predictions; establish the cause of any bias if found through the calibration process; and optimize the calibration coefficient of the transfer function(s) for each distress to eliminate bias and minimize the standard error of the estimate;
  6. rePave Scoping Tool provides guidance for deciding where and under what conditions to use existing pavement as part of roadway renewal projects; and
  7. Backcalculation Tool generates backcalculation inputs from Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) files to the AASHTO Pavement ME Design software for rehabilitation design. The tool is capable of analyzing raw deflection data files from three FWD testing devices: Dynatest®, JILS and KUAB. The tool provides three major functions: pre-processing deflection data (including project segmentation), backcalculation, and post-processing of results to generate inputs for Pavement ME rehabilitation design. This tool uses the EVERCALC® algorithm for the iterative backcalculation process. This tool can also be licensed separately.


“The AASHTO Pavement ME Design software continues to evolve in a way that addresses current transportation agency needs. In particular, the recent additions of a thin asphalt overlay reflection cracking model and a bonded concrete on asphalt design procedure provide solutions for rehabilitating and maintaining existing infrastructure.”

John P. Donahue, Construction and Materials Liaison Engineer, Missouri DOT