Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Jeffrey S Melton


U.S. industries annually generate millions of tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris with a large percentage sent to landfills at considerable cost and using valuable landfill space. While at the same time, according to the Department of Transportation, the U.S. requires about 500 million tons of materials annually for highway construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance. Recently more and more emphasis has focused on trying to meet the demand for highway construction materials by using C&D debris. Despite large use of construction debris in non-structural roadway applications, very little to none of this material is used for actual load bearing construction. This is mainly due to limited research and the lack of knowledge of the engineering properties of the debris materials.

This research focused on using the latest standards in roadway soil testing, the Resilient Modulus (triaxial test) and California Bearing Ratio, to evaluate both local natural materials and C&D debris to determine the engineering properties of each material. Then, using the testing results, evaluate the performance of these materials with the Federal Highways Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide software. Determining these properties and evaluating the performance will help to determine if New England C&D debris can meet the future needs of local roadway construction.