One of the first published methods for the structural design of highway pavements was called the Massachusetts Rule and was presented in the eighth annual report of the Massachusetts Highway Commission in 1901 (1). The essence of this procedure was a rather intuitive assumption concerning the distribution of vertical pressures beneath a loaded area. For design purposes, this required the selection of a design load which, since failure was assumed to be catastrophic and not cumulative, could be taken as the largest load that could reasonably be anticipated during the design life of the pavement. The prediction of such a design load was in itself a rather formidable task.

Report Date


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No. 259

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The opinions, findings, and conclusions in this report are not necessarily those of the Department of Highways or the Bureau of Public Roads.