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Asset Management | Bridge Technology | Operations | Pavement

Pavement Management Systems Peer Exchange Program

Conclusions

On a grand scale, the agencies report that their pavement management programs have enabled the agencies to use money more effectively, which has resulted in the best possible conditions for the funding levels available.

  • The information helped prepare the participating agencies for the implementation of their new software. The participants felt that they had a better handle on the types of issues they would be addressing and the factors that would most contribute to the success of the project. Prior to the Peer Exchange, some participants felt that they "didn't really know what they needed to know." After the Peer Exchange, they had a much better feel for the implementation process and how the system might be used within their agency.
  • By bringing together agency representatives from different divisions, the Peer Exchange was able to touch on the use of pavement management to address the varied needs from throughout the organization. Participants left the meetings with a greater appreciation for the expansive knowledge that is incorporated into a successful pavement management system.
  • The Peer Exchange demonstrated that there is no single approach to a successful system. However, MnDOT and UDOT demonstrated their ability to blend reliable data for use in their analysis and to foster two-way communication of the results with decision makers. The Pavement Management Engineers from these agencies "owned" the process and were critical to achieving good results.
  • The opportunity to talk with users of the various systems was identified as being particularly useful to learn more about how the systems are actually being used.
  • It is important to see the degree to which pavement management is integrated into the decision processes in each of the host agencies. This helped emphasize the importance of the integrated approach to a successful implementation and the importance of having credible data.
  • The Peer Exchange provided an opportunity for the participants to identify possible pitfalls to a successful implementation to better identify what to watch for.

Next Steps

The two February 2008 Pavement Management Peer Exchange sessions were the first Peer Exchange meetings organized by FHWA on this subject. In addition to providing benefits to the participants in the meetings, the FHWA supported the development of this report to provide a mechanism for transferring the technology to other pavement management practitioners. The remaining sections of the report outline specific plans for the FHWA's technology transfer efforts and the planned implementation activities within each of the participating agencies.

FHWA

The FHWA currently plans to conduct additional Peer Exchanges on the subject of pavement management in the future. The focus of future Peer Exchanges and the exact format that will be used have not yet been determined. In addition, the FHWA will use the contents of this report to help promote the effective use of pavement management tools. The report itself will be distributed to all state Pavement Management Engineers and to the FHWA Division Offices. FHWA also envisions using excerpts from the report in magazine articles (such as Focus) and presenting some of the information in a web conference.

Participating Agencies

The New York DOT and Caltrans are both embarking on their plans to enhance their existing pavement management capabilities as described in the following sections.

New York DOT

NYSDOT prepared a draft work plan in May 2007 that outlines their plans for enhancing their existing pavement management system. The plan provides a background summary and the steps that will be taken to obtain new software.

Purpose -

Continue the development of the Department's Pavement Management System by modernizing the existing modeling software, which is now obsolete, with a commercial system having more robust modeling capabilities and analysis tools needed to economically manage the state's pavement network.

Background -

PNAM (Pavement Needs Assessment Model) is the Department's current software program used to forecast pavement conditions and funding needs. The system was developed in-house in the 1980s and has performed well over the years for its intended purpose. However, the program has been tweaked and stretched to its practical limit in an attempt to keep up with the growing sophistication of pavement management technology. The modeling and analysis demands of the maturing pavement management process have now exceeded PNAM's capability.

PNAM (Pavement Needs Assessment Model) is the Department's current software program used to forecast pavement conditions and funding needs. The system was developed in-house in the 1980s and has performed well over the years for its intended purpose. However, the program has been tweaked and stretched to its practical limit in an attempt to keep up with the growing sophistication of pavement management technology. The modeling and analysis demands of the maturing pavement management process have now exceeded PNAM's capability.

Action Steps -

Action / Deliverable Start Finish

  1. Issue RFI to obtain information on status of technology for input to development of RFP. 4/12/07 5/24/07
  2. Form PMS Evaluation Committee. 6/1/07 6/30/07
  3. Invite selected vendors to make detailed presentations of their systems (RFI only). 7/1/07 10/15/07
  4. Develop IT Project Proposal. 8/15/07 9/15/07
  5. Submit Proposal to IT Governance Council for funding/project approval.
  6. Develop RFP documents (Narrative, Specification, Evaluation Criteria).
  7. Advertise RFP.*
  8. Evaluate Project Proposals from vendors through RFP process.
  9. Select vendor and award contract.
  10. Begin system implementation.

* Schedule from this point forward is controlled by funding approval.

Caltrans

Since May 2007, Caltrans has been investigating solutions that will result in better tools for managing its pavement network. An agreement has been reached between Caltrans and a South African company to implement a customized version of the Deighton & Associates dTIMS software that will be modified slightly for Caltans' use. With that decision made, its pavement management personnel are moving forward with data collection contracts for both a structural evaluation, which will include Ground Penetrating Radar and Coring, and a condition assessment. The Department's efforts will be supported by faculty at the University of California at Berkeley.

The most immediate activity for the State Pavement Program Manager is to secure the funding needed to support these pavement management activities. Caltrans hopes to have funding secured within calendar year 2008 and plans to have the implementation completed by the end of calendar year 2010.

REFERENCES

Peterson, D. E. 1977. Good Roads Cost Less. Report No. UDOT-MR-77-8. Utah Department of Transportation. Salt Lake City, UT.

Zavitski, J., K. Schvaneveldt, A. Baysinger, A. Wakil, B. Lawrence, D. Blake, D. Anderson, G. Kuhl, G. Ames, L. Neeley. 2006. Good Roads Cost Less: 2006 Study Update - Executive Summary. Report No. UT-06.15a. Utah Department of Transportation. Salt Lake City, UT.

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Updated: 11/01/2012