By considering the total energy of a pavement and its foundation the governing equations for the fracture of the pavement and the requirements for crack growth are presented. As is the case in all energy minimization procedures the stress and displacement boundary conditions are also obtained by this technique. The stress conditions along the surface of the crack are particularly interesting since the shear stress in the foundation is shown to give rise to a transverse shear force along the crack face. This theory is then refined so as to allow for a crack lying near the edge of the pavement when lift off effects may become significant. Finally an improved theory is developed which allows for a filling material under the plate.