Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Engineering)

First Advisor

Charles T. Jahren

Second Advisor

R. Christopher Williams


Highway agencies in Iowa are challenged by the imbalance between available financial resources for pavement maintenance and the growing number of roads that are due for major rehabilitation or reconstruction. Funding priority is usually given to those roads that are part of the National-Highway-System (NHS). Rural low-volume roads (LVR) are usually not included in the NHS and may be managed by state highway authorities, counties, or townships. These LVRs provide accesses to the areas that are less populated; and, are sometimes allowed to deteriorate to a poor condition due to lack of funding for rehabilitation. Highway agencies are interested in holding strategies that are more aggressive than preventative maintenance but not as extensive as rehabilitation, to improve such roadways. The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) constructed test sections using ten holding strategy treatments to aid in the development of appropriate guidelines.

Holding strategy treatments used various combinations of thin asphalt layers, surface treatments, and in-place recycling technologies, including cold in-place recycling (CIR) and full-depth reclamation (FDR). This dissertation presents a comprehensive study on these test sections based on various engineering criteria, including cost and life expectancy, and functional and structural performance measures. The current implementation of the technologies that were incorporated into the holding strategies was also reviewed. The findings in these studies show that the concept of holding strategy can be successfully achieved by selecting treatments that use a combination of various widely used thin hot mix overlays, thin surface treatments, and in-place recycling technologies. A treatment selection tool and recommendations to the structure design and safety performance are also developed in this dissertation.


Copyright Owner

Jianhua Yu



File Format


File Size

128 pages