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5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION A large number of public highway agencies in the United ment condition data collection and delivery. In particular, the States have adopted pavement management systems (PMS) synthesis examines: (1) the quality management techniques to cost-effectively manage the pavements on the more than used in service provider selection, monitoring, and data accep- 4 million km (approximately 2.6 million miles) of paved pub- tance by agencies that outsource the data collection; (2) the lic roads. The collection of network-level pavement condition quality management techniques used for operations by in- data, especially pavement distress data, is one of the most house staff; and (3) how these practices affect the quality of costly parts of operating a PMS. This function is also very the decisions made based on the data collected. important because data quality has a critical effect on the busi- ness decisions supported by the PMS. If the quality of the pave- ment condition data is inadequate, the consequent decision METHODOLOGY making will be compromised. For example, the PMS may rec- ommend inappropriate treatments, or it may not program the This synthesis includes information from a compilation of roadway sections most in need of preservation. These "wrong" sources, including an extensive literature review, an electronic decisions undermine the effectiveness of, and confidence in, the survey of state and provincial practices and data collection pavement management process. According to AASHTO (1), contractors, and follow-up communications with a select num- "a properly planned and implemented data collection program ber of state agencies. The survey was conducted electronically will significantly increase credibility, cost-effectiveness, and using interactive web-based commercial software. A detailed overall utility of the PMS." To effectively support the pave- web-based questionnaire was developed for collecting the ment management process, the data collection program col- information from the state and provincial agencies, and a link lects, processes, and records data in a timely fashion, with a to the electronic survey was sent to the Pavement Management level of accuracy and precision adequate for the decision being contacts in all states and Canadian provinces. This question- supported, assuring data consistency and continuity from year naire was dynamic and questions displayed were dependent to year, and using a consistent location referencing system (1). on previous responses. On completion, the survey was auto- matically saved in a database. Fifty-five agency responses, To ensure that the quality of the data collected meets the covering 46 states and 9 Canadian provinces, were received. needs of the pavement management process, agencies are No local agencies were included in the survey. A shorter developing procedures and guidelines for managing the quality version of the survey was sent to private data collection of pavement data collection activities. Agencies using ser- service providers; six responses from service providers were vice providers for pavement data collection have developed received. Copies of the survey forms used are provided in methods for service provider selection, monitoring during Appendices A and B, and the results for the agencies the contract period, and data acceptance. Agencies using and service providers are summarized in Appendix C. The staff resources for pavement data collection have developed analysis of the responses received is included in the relevant similar quality management activities, which also include train- sections of the synthesis. ing of their staff. Furthermore, many agencies are also coping with changing automation technologies that decrease cost but SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION pose challenges with time-history consistency of the data being collected. Agencies must place special care to ensure that data The study scope, which focused on network-level data, cov- collected at different times are consistent (e.g., the same pave- ered the following elements: ment characteristics are measured) to obtain reliable pavement condition time-series, monitor the performance of the network, Clear definition of key terms; and assess the impact of the pavement management decisions. Importance of quality data to pavement management processes and other uses of the data; OBJECTIVE Quality management techniques used for monitoring, and accepting pavement condition data collection activities The objective of this synthesis is to document quality manage- by in-house staff and data collection service providers; ment practices being employed by public road and highway Tools available for quality control, quality acceptance, agencies for automated, semi-automated, and manual pave- and independent assurance;