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|The functional design of a pavement relates to the selection of appropriate wearing course materials which optimise the trafficability of a pavement. Trafficability is dictated to a large degree by the choice, application and maintenance of locally available wearing course materials. Poor functional performance results in decreased safety and operational efficiency and increasing road and vehicle maintenance requirements. An optimal functional design will include a certain amount and frequency of maintenance (watering, grading etc.) and thus maintenance itself can be planned, scheduled and optimized within the limits of required road performance and minimum vehicle operating and road maintenance costs. Since no wearing course material selection guidelines, tailored to the specific needs of surface mines, were available, there was the need to identify appropriate selection guidelines for the range of materials commonly encountered for road building on South African mines. The aim of this paper is to present an overview of the functional design method for mine haul roads and, through an analysis and quantification of existing wearing course material performance, to recommend appropriate wearing course material selection guidelines. The functional design technique has been applied at a number of mines and is illustrated by an application case study which demonstrates the potential reduction in total transportation operating costs associated with the optimal functional design.|