ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Anand Puppala


Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) materials have been considered as one of the most sustainable and cost-effective options in the pavement industry. The use of RAP materials in pavement construction reduces natural resources depletion and the volume of construction debris discarded into the landfills. However, the low shear strength and high permanent deformation (PD) of RAP materials often limit their application in road bases. Utilization of mechanical stabilizers, such as geocell, for stabilizing RAP bases, have found to be effective in improving the pavement performance. The main objective of this study is to assess the efficacy of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) geocell reinforcements in enhancing the strength and stiffness properties of RAP bases and for mitigating PD behavior. In this dissertation research, several large-scale static and repeated load tests were performed on the unreinforced RAP base (URB) and geocell-reinforced RAP bases (GRRB) over clay subgrade. The performance of the geocell reinforcement was evaluated based on various parameters including bearing capacity (q), elastic deformation (ED), PD, resilient modulus (Mᵣ), traffic benefit ratio (TBR), and rut depth reduction (RDR). Test results showed that the HDPE geocell layer increased the Mᵣ and reduced the PD of the RAP base layer when compared to URB. Numerical models of the GRRB sections were developed to assess the load transfer mechanism of geocell reinforcement under static and dynamic loading. These models were developed in FLAC3D (special character) software by employing finite-difference (FD) approach. The unreinforced and reinforced FD models were validated with experimental results and a good agreement between both was observed. The validated FD model was then used to perform parametric studies to assess the factors affecting the performance of geocell-reinforced bases. Additionally, a life-cycle assessment (LCA) and life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) were performed to estimate the current and future cost of the pavement section with GRRB. This analysis considered agency, user, environmental, and health impact costs incurred during the service life of the pavement section. Finally, an LCA-LCCA framework was developed to assess the sustainability of the pavement infrastructure using a sustainability index. The results showed that the GRRB can be successfully used as a sustainable and cost-effective replacement for virgin aggregate bases. The findings from this research would aid in the development of design charts for assessing the response of geocell-reinforced pavement bases under static and repeated loading.


Geocell-reinforced bases, Reclaimed asphalt pavement material (RAP), Static load tests, Repeated load tests, Finite difference modeling


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington