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Importance of ESAL Calculations in 3R Projects

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Hello all,

I have a question relating to sensitivity of ESAL calculations in 3R projects. Recently, I had an opportunity to work on a ESAL forecast for a resurfacing project and decided to use 2.5% growth rate for Opening,Mid and Design years based on historical traffic volumes and population projections. However, at the end my supervisor decided to to use a growth rate of 8% which was completely based on Transportation Model volumes for the long range year.

I wasn't comfortable in using the 8% as the model has higher projects and the also the base year (2005) volumes were higher/close to the existing volumes (Year 2011). My supervisor had an argument "Be Conservative".

I am not a roadway designer and would like your help in understanding how would you be using the ESAL values that I provide for a resurfacing project. What are the impact of an incorrectly calculated forecast. Also, Is there a different approach for forecasting ESAL for "Add Turn Lanes" project or is it similar to a Resurfacing Project.

I have done some search online , but dint knew exactly what to look for.

I appreciate you time.

Thank you


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