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7 Background In its 2nd edition of The Pavement Management Guide, AASHTO defines a pavement management system as âa set of tools or methods that assist decision-makers in finding optimum strategies for providing, evaluating, and maintaining pavements in a serviceable condition over a period of timeâ (AASHTO 2012). Agencies that have incorporated pavement management principles into their oper- ational practices have found that they can optimize the use of available funding, better communicate funding needs, and more objectively manage their pavement network. Pavement management tools are now required for managing the National Highway System (NHS) under recent legislation, com- monly known as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (or MAP-21) act and the Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation (or FAST) act. There are many examples of state departments of transportation (DOTs), local agencies, toll authorities, and other public agencies that have been using pavement management tools for decades. However, the maturity of their pavement management systems varies based on the degree of sophis- tication of the tool and the extent to which the data are integrated into the agencyâs decision pro- cesses. Traditionally, the more mature pavement management systems allow agencies to routinely carry out a number of complex analyses, including the following: â¢ Assess both current and future pavement conditions. â¢ Justify funding needs to achieve targeted condition levels. â¢ Identify pavement preservation and rehabilitation recommendations that optimize the use of available funding. â¢ Estimate the consequences of different investment levels and treatment strategies on both short- and long-term pavement conditions. â¢ Determine the cost-effectiveness of different treatment strategies. â¢ Develop performance specifications and measures for alternate delivery contracts. Prior syntheses on pavement management conducted by the NCHRP have focused primarily on auto- mated data collection (NCHRP Synthesis 334: Automated Pavement Distress Collection Techniques) (McGhee 2004) and data quality procedures (NCHRP Synthesis 401: Quality Management of Pavement Condition Data Collection) (Flintsch and McGhee 2009). Another synthesis, Pavement Management Applications Using Geographic Information Systems (NCHRP Synthesis 335) (Flintsch et al. 2004) explores the presentation and use of pavement management data through maps and other forms of visual displays. Since the publication of these pavement management syntheses, the use of pavement management to support agency decisions has been undergoing significant changes. For example, state DOTs are using their pavement management information as the basis for developing 10-year investment strate- gies that will be incorporated into the Transportation Asset Management Plans required under federal legislation. In addition, to optimize the use of available funding, several agencies are using pavement management recommendations to determine funding allocations to districts and regions. Other agen- cies are establishing guidelines that help ensure that projects incorporated into State Transportation Improvement Programs are relatively consistent with pavement management recommendations. In Canada, and in some states in the United States, pavement management data are also being used to establish performance specifications for monitoring privatized maintenance contracts and performance chapter one IntroductIon
8 measures for long-term warranty contracts. This synthesis explores these recent developments to deter- mine how extensively pavement management data are being used for these and other purposes. SyntheSIS oBjectIveS The objective of this synthesis study is to document current pavement management practices in state and provincial transportation agencies to determine the extent that pavement management data are being used to support agency decisions. The synthesis focuses on the use of pavement management analysis results for resource allocation, determining treatment cost-effectiveness, program develop- ment, and communication with stakeholders. It further explores lessons learned and suggestions for further research. The information from the synthesis will benefit agencies interested in improving their pavement management practices. SyntheSIS Scope and approach This synthesis documents the use of pavement management data for supporting agency decision- making processes and program development. Because earlier documentation has focused on data collection activities, this synthesis did not explore this topic extensively. Although some information on current data collection practices is included, the synthesis focuses primarily on: â¢ Characteristics of an agencyâs pavement management system, including its capabilities. â¢ Features of the data collection process that influence how the data are being used. â¢ Sophistication of the pavement management system, including its prediction models and treatment rules. â¢ The role of pavement management data in decision-making and resource allocation activities. â¢ Use of pavement management data to evaluate the performance and cost-effectiveness of treatment options. â¢ Use of pavement management system recommendations in work program development. â¢ Methods of communicating pavement management data and decisions to internal and external stakeholders. â¢ Mining pavement management data to develop performance specifications and contract per- formance measures. â¢ New initiatives and technologies agencies are considering in order to improve their pavement management programs. At the beginning of the project, a literature review was conducted to provide background informa- tion about the state of the practice and recent developments that have taken place in the implemen- tation and use of pavement management systems. The results from the literature search were used to develop a survey of agency practice that was distributed to the pavement management engineers in each of the 50 state DOTs, 10 Canadian provincial ministries of transportation (MOTs), and the Puerto Rico and District of Columbia DOTs. In addition, representatives from five agencies were interviewed by telephone to obtain more specific information about innovative uses of pavement management data. The agencies that were selected to participate in these interviews were identified based on their responses to a survey question asking about innovative uses of their data. The information obtained from the literature review, the survey of practice, and the telephone interviews provide the basis for the information contained in this synthesis. report organIzatIon This synthesis of practice is organized into the following five chapters: â¢ Chapter oneâIntroduction. This chapter introduces the synthesis, providing background infor- mation and summarizing the scope and organization of the document.
9 â¢ Chapter twoâLiterature Review. The findings from the literature review are summarized and presented in this chapter. Relevant topics covered in the literature review introduce different approaches to pavement management with a focus on: â Methods used to ensure data quality. â Methods used to development pavement management prediction models and decision trees. â Methods of assessing pavement performance trends and treatment cost-effectiveness. â Trends in the use of pavement management data. â Putting pavement management recommendations into practice. â Strategies for presenting pavement management data and analysis results. â¢ Chapter threeâState of the Practice. The results of the survey of state of the practice are presented in this chapter by the following topic areas: â General Pavement Management Information â Data Analysis and Performance Modeling â Putting the Data to Work â¢ Chapter fourâCase Examples. This chapter summarizes the information provided by the five state DOTs that were interviewed to explore innovative uses of their pavement management data. These case examples illustrate how pavement management data have been used to improve data quality, evaluate treatment effectiveness, expand the use of pavement management data within a DOT, improve agency performance measures, and establish performance measures for highway concession agreements. â¢ Chapter fiveâConclusions. The synthesis concludes with a summary of key observations and suggested areas for further research and outreach that will lead to improved use of pavement management systems to support agency investment decisions. â¢ AppendicesâTwo appendices are included with the synthesis. Appendix A, which is only included in the electronic version of the report, provides a copy of the questionnaire that was distributed electronically to the state and provincial respondents. Appendix B, which is available in both the print and electronic versions, presents the responses by agency for each of the questions posed to the survey respondents.