INDOT adopted the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) beginning January 1, 2009, which is based on the FHWA Long Term Pavement Performance (LTTP) field study. The resilient modulus of the soil, MR, is required to implement the new design guide, as well as the pavement input parameters. The soil resilient modulus test requires special, expensive, equipment, significant time investment and effort, which has led researchers to develop MR prediction models and alternative methods to estimate the resilient modulus using non-destructive tests such as Falling Weight Deflectometer, FWD, Light Weight Deflectometer, LWD, and Dynamic Cone Penetrometer, DCP. The objectives of the project are geared toward a practical approach for pavement design procedures to effectively determine the soil resilient modulus for rehabilitation projects, targeting specifically untreated subgrade soils type A-6 and A-7-6. A total of four sites in Indiana were selected to conduct FWD, LWD, and DCP tests, as well as resilient modulus tests in the laboratory. In addition to the output from the four sites, additional data were collected from the data repository of INDOT which has geotechnical and pavement information. Extensive analysis and comparisons were done in an attempt at establishing relationships between the field tests and the laboratory results. The study showed the following: (1) high quality FWD tests conducted on top of the pavement can be used to estimate the subgrade MR, as long as site conditions and pavement layers thickness are well known; (2) the results of FWD tests on top of the subgrade are not reliable, as they are affected by the low confinement of the soils; and (3) LWD and DCP tests can be used to provide and assessment of the quality and uniformity of the subgrade, but do not provide reliable estimates of the stiffness of the subgrade.

Report Number



resilient modulus, MEPDG, subgrade, FWD, LWD, DCP

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version