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Asset Management | Bridge Technology | Operations | Pavement

Enhancement of the Pavement Health Track (PHT) Analysis Tool Final Report

Executive Summary

The Pavements Health Track Analysis Tool (PHT) sponsored by the FHWA Office of Asset Management is an engineering software application for determining and reporting the health of pavement networks in terms of pavements remaining service life (RSL.) This application uses performance models recently developed by FHWA for the Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS) and the National Pavement Cost Models (NAPCOM). These pavement models are the simplified version of the more complex mechanistic-empirical (ME) set of models and procedures used in the Pavement Design Guide (PDG). In addition, the PHT also offers state-of-practice maintenance options to estimate the benefits of each pavement section improvement quantified in terms extended service life. The PHT maintenance model is implemented into the PHT graphical user interface as an integrated feature of the PHT that allows to measure the pavement performance under a maximum Benefit/Cost ratio or under constrained funds. The Pavements Health Track analysis tool has been developed by the Battelle/Maks/ARA team for FHWA using an off-the-shelf engineering analysis software interface.

The tool allows users to determine pavement health in terms of pavement life, ride-ability, or distress by pavement types under various environmental and administrative conditions-e.g., climate, functional classification, or rural/urban environment-on projects, corridors within a state or crossing state lines, and networks. The pavement life in this application is simply the time in years or number of load applications it takes to reach one or more recommended terminal levels of distresses as shown in Exhibit 1.

A dimensionless line chart shows increase in Distress/IRI over increasing time. The plot shows a slight upward slope to a point designated Current Distress/IRI Level at time Current Age, after which the slope begins a steeper climb to the point Terminal Distress/IRI at time First Major Rehab. The interval between the two points is the RL.
Exhibit 1. Distress/IRI and RSL Relationship

The primary input is HPMS 2010 data with an extension for the State Pavement Management System (PMS) database. The software comes with nationally calibrated matrix parameters and level 3 (policy and planning) default values currently available through ME-PDG design software with the option for custom adjustment.

The primary PHT outputs are the predicted distresses/IRI by pavement types, load applications, and weighted RSL. The results are tabulated in spreadsheet or document formats or illustrated in charts or map graphics by pavement type, RSL group (5, 10, 15 years, etc.), geographic locations, functional class, or along a particular corridor (illustrated in exhibit 2) using smart wizards built into PHT.

A screen shot shows three histogram plots stacked next to an area map. The histograms show values for AADT, IRI, and Overall RSL - Years over virtual mileposts, respectively, for categories of pavement type designated as rigid, flexible, and composite. The area map highlights the corridor for which the data are presented in the histograms.

Exhibit 2. PHT Corridor Interface

The options of multiple parameter and data capture interfaces along with built-in query and Geographical Information System (GIS) tools also support "what if " scenario analyses under various pavement design parameters, traffic, and/or recommended terminal distresses or performance indicators. The modular design of PHT allows future expansion for estimating pavement asset values, impact on RSL under various M&R action plans, reconstruction needs, detection of uneven distribution of RSL (uneven workload and preventive maintenance), integrating HERS benefit/cost models, and incorporating state-specific pavement models or calibrated pavement performance coefficients.

Updated: 11/22/2013