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2 CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.1 Background step is described, and the factors that must be considered are identified. Because of differences in agency decision-making Pavement-type selection is one of the challenging engineer- processes, it is expected that each agency will adopt or mod- ing decisions that highway administrators face today. They ify these procedures to meet its specific needs. must balance issues of both short- and long-term performance with initial and long-term costs, as well as highway user impacts. The traveling public generally does not express strong 1.3 Application feelings on the type of pavement constructed, as long as reason- The successful application of the pavement-type selec- able levels of service, safety, and ride quality are provided. tion process requires a multidisciplinary approach within the Pavement-type selection is a management decision process agency, as well as the involvement of representatives from the where the choice of engineering factors such as materials and paving industry. The process will need to be tailored to address structural performance must be weighed against initial and an agency's goals and any applicable state laws. Key features life-cycle costs. There is a certain level of risk involved in the that must be addressed include the following: process because of the variations in both performance and costs. Further, the typical life span of a long-life pavement sys- 1. Type of Projects Covered by the Procedure: The pavement- tem may be 30 years or more. Changes in the characteristics of type selection procedure is detailed and requires a rigorous the vehicle traffic over the pavement's service life can have a effort to achieve rational results. Therefore, the procedure significant impact on performance and life-cycle costs. will yield benefits that outweigh the costs of performing Because of the competitive nature of the pavement indus- the process only for projects that are significant enough try, controversies and legislative reviews of the pavement-type in scope. Each agency needs to develop a policy governing selection process are not uncommon. Therefore, there is a need when and how the process will be applied. The following fac- for a balanced and transparent process for making pavement- tors should be considered in establishing a policy on select- type selections that objectively considers different pavement ing projects for inclusion in the pavement-type selection design strategies representing the best solution on a specific process: project or roadway. Project cost. It is important that the reasons for reaching the decision be Project length. fully documented. The pavement type selected for a given proj- Traffic type. ect may be disputed at some subsequent time, but if sound rea- Traffic volume. sons are outlined and documented, the matter becomes only a Road system classification. difference of opinion. Thus, the factors that control pavement- Pavement quantity. type selection should be documented, and the persons involved Presence of bridge structures. in the decision-making process should be identified. Lane modifications or additions. Ramps. Acceleration/deceleration lanes. 1.2 Objective and Scope 2. Identification of Alternatives: Development of a process for This Guide for Pavement-Type Selection provides a compre- identifying pavement alternatives currently used, assess- hensive set of procedures that highway agencies can use to ing their performance, and identifying promising new develop pavement-type selection policies and processes. Each alternatives.