In 2003, a contract entitled Modification of FHWA Highway Performance Data Collection System and Pavement Performance Models was awarded to a contractor to research methods to develop improved but simplified pavement performance models for the Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS). The project was a multi-year effort and resulted in the recommendation to use the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) performance models. As part of that contract, the research team also evaluated the methods used to estimate Remaining Service Life (RSL) and made recommendations to make it more compatible with Mechanistic-Empirical Design.
During the development of the simplified MEPDG models for HERS, another project was initiated to reassess the components of the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) database. Since the proposed pavement models are dependent on HPMS data, a high level of cooperation was developed between the two project teams. The result of the HPMS reassessment project was a recommendation to add several new data items to support the simplified pavement models for HERS. These two projects provide a great opportunity for estimating pavement RSL using simplified MEPDG Mechanistic-Empirical models and the HPMS2010 data.
The FHWA has recently developed the Pavement Health Track (PHT) Analysis Tool that can help determine the health of a road network in terms of Remaining Service Life. The tool can determine the health of different pavement types under various conditions, such as rural or urban environments or various climates, and a range of applications, including individual projects, highway networks, and corridors within a State or crossing State lines. The tool requires pavement data inputs from the HPMS2010 or a State can input data from its pavement management system. The PHT Analysis Tool has already been tested by a few States. These tests resulted in several recommendations for further enchantment of the tool. As a result, the FHWA is undertook this effort to enhance the PHT Analysis Tool.
The primary objective of this project was to enhance the capabilities and the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the PHT Analysis Tool to allow US DOT as well as State DOT planners and policy makers to predict both the network and regional level health of the pavement so that preventive action can be put in place and maximum pavement life can be realized within a set of budgetary constraints.
This project investigated the extent to which improvements between versions 0.8 and 1.0 of the MEPDG forecasting models impact the results of the PHT Analysis Tool and implemented those improvements into the PHT forecasting models along with other models that account for maintenance activities and provide a reliability index for the RSL predictions.
Recommendations obtained from pilot users included providing a set of validation rules for the HPMS2010 source data and an enhanced mechanism to read pavement condition information from existing State pavement management systems. General enhancements for usability included the development a log system, custom HPMS data and corridor profile viewers, customizable chart templates, and expanded report wizard features. The PHT analysis engine run-time performance has also been optimized.