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Pavement Preservation Compendium

Pavement Preservation Research & Development Initiative

Monday, February 11, 2003, McLean, Virginia

Introductions and Welcome:

Bill Ballou, National Pavement Preservation Leader, Koch Pavement Solutions, recognized the participants and extended his appreciation to everyone who was in attendance. For ten years the Foundation for Pavement Preservation has endeavored to advance the concept of preserving our highway investments through education and outreach. This process would not be possible without the ability to partner with AASHTO, FHWA, TRB, Asphalt Institute, NAPA, ACPA and many industry trade groups. The partnership has gained credibility and trust because of collective efforts from groups represented in this meeting.

Asset management requires us to endorse preserving our current highway system. But preserving the system also comes with an expectation of higher performance. A major drawback for agencies to routinely use many preservation treatments, has been the lack of data and knowledge in materials, selection, construction methods which results in inconsistent performance.

A group of industry partners developed research problem statements relative to pavement preservation in a June 2000 workshop. They also identified needs and estimated associated costs in a January 9, 2002, white paper (copy attached) entitled, "A Call for Action: A National Initiative for Pavement Preservation." Accordingly, the Foundation has been working with the FHWA to initiate a dedicated, funded research program in the areas identified in the white paper. In meetings with AASHTO, FHWA and industry officials on March 15, 2002 in Washington, D.C., and again on July 18, 2002, in Orange Beach, Alabama, these groups committed to move preservation forward. To accomplish this initiative, a strategic plan must be developed which will establish the goals and objectives of a coordinated research effort.

Jim Sorenson, Senior Engineer & Team Leader, FHWA, acknowledged a number of people interested in advancing the pavement preservation movement were unable to attend this meeting. He re-affirmed the complete support from Dave Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota DOT, Gary Hoffman, Pennsylvania DOT, Randy Iwasaki, California DOT, and others.

This meeting sets the stage to establish a coordinated pavement preservation research effort. Both AASHTO and FHWA are encouraged to assist the industry in addressing the needs identified during the March 15, 2002 meeting. Industry has met the challenge and now is requesting support. The framework of the meeting was briefly discussed.

A Call for Action-The Industry Challenge:

Gerry Eller, GLE Services, proposed that pavement preservation should have the same priority as other major program areas, such as design and construction. State Highway Agencies no longer have the revenues necessary to sustain a major construction effort as in the past. The interstate construction era is over and its time to preserve.

Based on feedback from the state DOT's, the following statements are consistent with a needed pavement preservation effort.

  1. Every pavement will need some sort of preservation treatment to advance its effective service life and get the most out of the public investment.
  2. As partners and stewards of public funds, the highway industry needs to work collectively to provide the lowest life cycle costs.

Both statements highlight a need for change for the following reasons.

  • Past tradition assumed that maintenance activities didn't need tight specifications. Only design and construction required strong specifications and when specifications weren't available, research was considered. Today, durable preservation treatments will use materials and methods requiring greater knowledge and research than ever before.
  • The slogan, "The right treatment on the right road at the right time" is critical to success. Agencies lack the resources or institutional knowledge of pavement preservation to effectively optimize costs by increasing pavement life.
  • Pavement preservation activities must be planned by State Highway Agencies. Agencies no longer can afford to implement the ways of the past. Today the public expects highway agencies to be more accountable for funding decisions and practices.

The first time in history federal transportation funds could be used for pavement preservation occurred with the passage of ISTEA in 1991. This change was prompted by public groups that demanded funds should be directed to preserve what we have. Model programs emerged in pavement preservation as a result of ISTEA funding. Training was pushed by industry through a formal agreement with FHWA. Most recently, action began to establish a National Center for Pavement Preservation. This concept has been fully endorsed by AASHTO and industry. While all of these initiatives inspire a direction for pavement preservation, a coordinated public sector investment has never been made to advance the process.

The industry challenge is:

  1. How does preservation become part of the major program area?
  2. How are pavement preservation programs applied for effective asset management?
  3. How does FHWA and AASHTO become part of the process to show leadership in pavement preservation?

The times are changing as now exhibited by the fact that several state DOT's are creating "pavement preservation engineer" positions. Local agencies and municipalities are applying more and more preservation treatments to their roads and streets to make their road investments last longer.

Dennis Jacobson, Director of DOT LTAP Support Center, North Dakota State University, stated that in North Dakota most managers believe that preservation activities are maintenance and not eligible for federal funding. The FHWA - Division Office has too many restrictions for the state to fully consider benefits from timely pavement preservation. As a result the overall highway system pavement condition is not improving in North Dakota. Although the interstate/NHS are getting better, the remaining roads are not. States need flexibility to best manage their resources and meet their needs.

Bill O'Leary, President, Prime Materials & Supply, has experienced problems with local and state agencies being able to partner with the Foundation of Pavement Preservation to advance preservation activities. A funding mechanism isn't available to advance the process. There seems to be a gap in support for moving preservation ahead.

Larry Galehouse, Director, "future" National Center for Pavement Preservation, recognized the Midwestern Pavement Preservation Partnership which was formed by the state DOT's to share knowledge and best practices in pavement preservation. Industry is recognized as a partner in this effort. Research knowledge isn't available for states to draw conclusive information.

Bob Peda, Bureau of Maintenance & Operations, Pennsylvania DOT, provided an example of a product not placed on the right road at the right time. The improper application of the product caused major problems for PennDOT.

Jim Mack, Executive Director/CEO, American Concrete Paving Association - Northeast, observed that many projects are stopped because of funding restrictions or program requirements. These projects can extend the life of the pavement at low cost but the information and policy is not being uniformly applied.

Jim Sorenson, Senior Engineer & Team Leader, FHWA, suggested a remedy to address the funding concern may necessitate FHWA to develop and issue an advisory for funding. The PPETG is working on such a document at this time. When completed this advisory would be forwarded to the FHWA Division Administrators.

Louay Mohammad, Associate Professor, Louisiana Transportation Research Center, commented that the Louisiana DOTD has determined that a pavement preservation engineer is critical in order to champion the preservation effort. Louisiana has such a position on staff. Working with LSU LaDOT is working on full implementation of a national center for pavement preservation similar to that mentioned at Michigan State University.

Steve Varnedoe, State Maintenance & Equipment Engineer, North Carolina DOT, acknowledged that North Carolina DOT made the decision to advance pavement preservation by creating a dedicated pavement preservation position. The position is staffed by an engineer with a PMS background that oversees the North Carolina preservation program. Steve is also the SCoM Pavements Task Force Leader. As such he has championed the development of several successful Subcommittee resolutions and unsuccessful requests for national level research and program support.

Jim Sorenson, FHWA, offered to assist any agency requesting a workshop on pavement preservation, or wishing to schedule several hours of technical discussion with their program counterparts. These have been highly successful in assisting states and local governments interested in pursuing a pavement preservation program. NHI courses are also available at this time and can be used to support such a local forum.

Advancing Pavement Preservation Research and Development:

Dave Geiger, Director, Office of Asset Management, FHWA, cited a partnership comprised of industries, agencies, academia and consulting professionals as the ideal means to provide the best product for the customer. FHWA has a long-term role in promoting better technologies for highways and pavement preservation certainly meets that purpose. System preservation is a recognized link into Asset Management. Although the link is widely recognized, FHWA Division Administrators sometimes interpret direction differently. FHWA must do a better job of getting the program out.

Currently there are five areas or emerging areas that can advance research and development needs. These areas are FHWA, AASHTO, NCHRP/TRB, F-SHRP, and state highway agencies through individual or pool-funded efforts.

FHWA Infrastructure Research and Technology Program:

Steve Forster, Technical Director for Pavements Research & Development, FHWA, outlined new processes that will allow FHWA to deliver a more comprehensive R&T program. The program will be delivered through three technology areas, defined as asset management, bridges and pavements. The pavement program vision is, "pavements that meet our customers needs and are safe, cost effective, long lasting and can be effectively maintained." Interestingly the pavement program area is labeled long life pavements because most of the approximately 160,000 miles of NHS is more than 35 years old. Presently, there is a $59 billion shortfall to maintain the existing condition.

There are four focus areas in the pavement R&T program.

  • Advanced Pavement Design Systems
  • Advanced Quality Systems
  • Enhanced User Satisfaction
  • Enhanced Technical Workforce Capability

It was noted there is no defined platform for pavement preservation in the FHWA Infrastructure Research and Technology Program.

AASHTO Technology Implementation Group (TIG):

Byron Lord, Deputy Director of Pavement Technology, FHWA, explained that many new and emerging technologies offering improved performance and effectiveness are often developed through research and proven through real world applications. Many technologies have been found during international technology scanning tours. The program's purpose is "accelerating the implementation of high payoff technology."

Innovative technologies may be submitted to the AASHTO TIG at any time. Information regarding a new technology must follow a 2-stage evaluation process. This process is available at www.aashtotig.org. Examples of technologies selected by the TIG include prefabricated bridge elements and systems, ITS technologies in work zones, accelerated construction, ground penetrating radar, GPS for surveying, and air void analyzer.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program /TRB Initiatives:

Crawford Jencks, Manager NCHRP, Transportation Research Board, discussed research opportunities available through Division D of the Transportation Research Board, known as the Cooperative Research Program. The research is split into two cooperatively sponsored programs. The major program area focusing on highway research is the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), which is sponsored by participating members of AASHTO in cooperation with FHWA. This program was created in 1962 as a means to accelerate research in acute problem areas that affect highway planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Financial support is provided by state DOT's, SPR funds, and through FHWA.

Opportunities exist for research in three areas; regular research projects, continuing projects, and the proposed F-SHRP. Regular research projects have specific objectives, deliverables and costs. These projects are submitted by either state DOT's, AASHTO committees and subcommittees, or the FHWA.

The continuing projects include:

  • Synthesis Series (Project 20-5), which synthesizes information related to highway practice. This year 165 synthesis statements were recommended with only 12 topics selected.
  • AASHTO SCOH (Project 20-7), addresses research for the Standing Committee on Highways. Tasks are selected semiannually by SCOH at the AASHTO spring and annual meetings.
  • NCHRP IDEA (Project 20-30), known as the Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis Program. The program is designed to assist entrepreneurs by initiating product ideas through the development stage.
  • Legal Studies (Project 20-6), is a synthesis of case law for legal problems arising out of highway programs. An NCHRP panel makes selections periodically and there is no formal submission process.
  • International Exchange (Project 20-36), supports foreign scanning tours and sponsors participation in PIARC. The costs are split between NCHRP and FHWA.

F-SHRP and the Pavement Preservation Program:

Neil Hawks, Director of Special Programs, Transportation Research Board, outlined the proposed F-SHRP (Future Strategic Highway Research Program) structure. F-SHRP is divided into four research areas.

  • Accelerating the Renewal of America's Highways-Renewal
  • Making a Significant Improvement in Highway Safety-Safety
  • Providing a Highway System with Reliable Travel Times-Reliability
  • Providing Highway Capacity in support of the Nation's Economic, Environmental, and Social Goals-Capacity

In each research area there are specific topics and projects. Topics are broad avenues of research while projects are discrete pieces of work. There appears to be one project in the renewal research area that is related to pavement preservation. The primary focus of renewal is rebuilding on the interstate system by incorporating three concepts: rapid, long life facility, and minimum disruption.

Project 1-1.2, is entitled "Integrating the 'Mix of Fixes' Strategy into Corridor Development." By using the corridor concept, a DOT will need to determine optimal rehabilitation strategies for specific bridges and pavements within a given corridor. Such strategies must consider: the nature and extent of renewal required, what service life to reconstruct for, and associated life cycle and user costs. This project will identify current and next generation "mix of fix" options and provide assessment tools on how to choose the optimal combination of solutions along a corridor.

The F-SHRP research team will develop project statements for preservation strategies in three areas.

  • Project 1. Asphalt-based Solutions for Flexible and Rigid Pavement Surfaces.
  • Project 2. Hydraulic Cement-based Solutions for Rigid Pavement Surfaces.
  • Project 3. Bridge Preservation Strategies.

The research team requests feedback on how to affect better strategies. Feedback contributions must conform to criteria of F-SHRP, which is strategic in nature. Research criteria should be:

  • System wide in its impact;
  • Major change rather than incremental change (replacement technology);
  • High risk (attack the problem);
  • A concentrated effort that is accomplished in six years; and,
  • Unlikely to be carried out as part of any other research program.

Funding for F-SHRP is anticipated for the 2004 Transportation Re-authorization Program.

Preparing States for Pavement Preservation:

Steve Varnedoe, State Maintenance & Equipment Engineer, North Carolina DOT, compared the concept of pavement preservation to a dog chasing a car and not knowing what to do if it's caught. The AASHTO Lead State Team on Pavement Preservation began to move the concept about seven years ago. Critical research and training needs were identified to increase the awareness level of states on the benefits of implementing a pavement preservation program. Later, the AASHTO Lead State Team, FHWA, and the Foundation for Pavement Preservation, held a national conference and produced an initial plan for the future direction of this effort. Since the sunset of the lead state concept, the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance is taking the lead. But the driving force behind today's pavement preservation effort is the FHWA Pavement Preservation ETG. Some critical issues include:

  • Standardized mix designs and test procedures. Many pavement preservation treatments in use today, do not have national or regional mix designs or testing procedures.
  • Major advancements, such as Superpaver, have improved some pavement preservation treatments, but neglected many others such as chip seals, slurry seals and micro-surfacing.
  • Industry and academia have brought forward new preservation initiatives and techniques. It's now time for government to step up to institutionalize this move towards preservation.
  • Many "IT" systems (ie, PMS and MMS) require solid guidance and must be correctly modeled to accurately influence decision making.
  • Maintenance people aren't skilled in writing problem statements and need help from the outside arena. The AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance has repeatedly brought forward research problem statements, however, with success.

Bryon Lord, Deputy Director of Pavement Technology, FHWA, commented that perhaps the best avenue to advance research is through state sponsored pooled fund studies with SPR funds. Through group discussion, a problem was revealed that states often lack sufficient resources (people and money) to institute pooled fund studies. Through agency downsizing, people are frequently so weighed down with their current responsibilities that no appetite exists to take on additional work of a national pooled-fund project. This is increasingly true for both SHA's and FHWA.

Challenges Facing State and Federal Governments:

Frank Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP, provided insight on transportation issues from The Road Information Program (TRIP). Recent research reports reveal some interesting facts about trends affecting traffic flow, safety and the pavement.

Current surveys of roads have determined that 32% of the U.S. major roads are in poor and mediocre condition. Driving on roads in need of repair costs U.S. motorists $49 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs. This equates to $259 per motorist per year in repair cost.

Vehicle travel on U.S. highways increased by 148 percent from 1970 to 2000, yet the population increased 38 percent over the same period and new road mileage increased by only 6 percent. During the past decade, vehicle travel increased by 28 percent from 1990 to 2000, while the population grew 13 percent during the same period.

Continued population increases and growth in vehicle travel, particularly of large commercial trucks, will lead to worsening traffic congestion on the Interstate system, unless there is expansion of Interstate and other highway routes as well as further improvements made in the ability of key highways to carry more vehicles efficiently. The nation's population is expected to grow by 40 million people by the year 2020, a 16 percent increase, and all vehicle travel is expected to increase another 42 percent and large commercial truck travel by another 54 percent by 2020.

Traffic congestion costs American motorists $67.5 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs. Americans spend an additional 4.5 billion hours a year stuck in traffic. Two out of five urban Interstate miles are considered congested because they carry traffic at volumes that result in significant delays.

According to public polls, highway improvements that should receive the most attention for resources are:

  • Traffic Flow 25%
  • Safety 24%
  • Pavement 20%

Because of security concerns about travel by air in the aftermath of September 11, our nation's already overburdened roads and bridges face increased travel demands in the short-term from an increase in the number of trips that normally would have been made by air that are now being made by car.

The public expects improved accountability by government agencies. Provided the highway agencies respond to the public needs, there is a willingness to pay the bill for the following improvements.

  • Better traffic flow
  • Fewer work zone delays
  • Improved safety
  • Smoother ride
  • More durable repairs

The study concludes that every $1.00 invested in the nation's highway system yields $5.70 in economic benefits because of reduced delays, improved safety and reduced vehicle operating costs.

Will the money be there? That's the state and federal challenge. Options are available for a significant boost in surface transportation funding to help tackle the congestion and maintain the benefits provided by the highway system. These options include:

  • Increasing the federal 18.4 cent-per-gallon motor fuel tax.
  • Indexing the federal motor fuel tax to inflation, so that it increases at the rate of inflation.
  • Reimbursing the Federal Highway Trust Fund for revenue lost because of exemptions for gasohol.
  • Drawing down the reserve balance in the federal highway trust fund.
  • Capturing the interest on the federal highway trust fund that currently goes to the general fund.

An approach to advance pavement preservation could include a media campaign that targets public opinion. An example may highlight the decrease in pothole patching materials after a pavement preservation program was implemented. Show that funds spent for a preservation program improved pavement conditions and provided the smooth ride demanded by the motorist.

Reauthorization and the Pavement Preservation Program:

Tony Kane, Director of Engineering & Technical Services, AASHTO, detailed major issues affecting transportation in America and AASHTO's priority objectives and recommendations for the new TEA-21 Reauthorization. In 1998, Congress enacted the six-year Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which increased the federal investment in highways by $168 billion. AASHTO published a report in September 2002, which assessed the nation's highway needs from 2004 to 2009.

The key highway findings include:

  • An annual capital investment of $92 billion is needed for highways and bridges to maintain the condition and performance of the system.
  • An annual capital investment of $125.6 billion is necessary to improve the condition and performance of highways and bridges.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, highway expenditures for all purposes, from all levels of government, increased 71 percent from $75 billion to $128 billion, with $64.6 billion going to capital expenditures.
  • If capital expenditures increased 71 percent over the next decade, they would reach $110 billion by 2010.

AASHTO has more than two thousand DOT personnel serving various committees and subcommittees. The Standing Committee on Highways (SCOH) meets twice each year, at the AASHTO Annual (September) Meeting and the AASHTO Spring (June) Meeting. Its subcommittees, task forces, and other special groups largely do the committee's extensive work and report activities to the standing committee officers and voting members. The members of SCOH, the chief engineers, oversee the business and work of subcommittees. Due to the rapid turnover of DOT personnel, AASHTO has needs and vacancies on many committees and subcommittees.

Priority objectives were developed by AASHTO that include:

  • Stimulate economic recovery by reauthorizing TEA-21.
  • Grow the TEA-21 program over the next six years: highways to at least $45 billion and transit to at least $11 billion. This means the highway program increases from $34 billion in FY 2004 to at least $45 billion in FY 2009.
  • Maintain funding guarantees and fire-walls and fix the Revenue Aligned Budget Authority (RABA). RABA should be refined to avoid radical swings in funding.
  • Retain the basic program structure, which includes Interstate Maintenance (IM), National Highway System (NHS), Surface Transportation (ST), and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ).
  • Increase flexibility to meet priority needs: security, safety, congestion relief, freight, preservation, and capacity.
  • Improve environmental stewardship and expedite project review.

Recommendations were developed by AASHTO for growth in research efforts. Overall federal financial support for highways and transit has grown considerably in recent years, but federal support for research has barely grown at all. AASHTO recommends that the current formula-based approach for State Planning and Research (SP&R) Program continue, but the FHWA's Research and Technology Program should be increased by 50 percent to $300 million annually. This effort will increase the University Transportation Centers Program from $32.5 million to $50 million annually. Additionally, an increased FHWA R&T Program will expand technology transfer programs such as LTAP and NHI.

Tony suggested that a "great" pool-fund project with a waive of federal matching funds could be to address Pavement Preservation needs. However as a basis for the new legislation, AASHTO's approach to system preservation for the means and includes everything but new capacity. This is different from the recommendations and definitions presented by the AASHTO Lead State Team for Pavement Preservation.

Brainstorming Solutions for Advancing Pavement Preservation R&D:

Gary Hicks, Principal, Mactec, organized the participants into three breakout groups to identify issues and develop solutions to advance pavement preservation in three critical areas: Policy and Outreach, Research, and Funding. The results of group brainstorming sessions are as follows:

1. The Policy and Outreach session was facilitated by Gerry Eller and Jim Moulthrop. The policy and outreach issues and solutions are:

  • Definitions of preservation verses maintenance . . .
    What preservation is and how it differs from corrective and reactive maintenance is not clear to many practitioners. There is a need for clear definitions.
  • Explain "worst first" to legislatures . . .
    The need to move from reactive to proactive must be communicated to the people that provide the funds. They must fully understand the need to change from reactive to proactive maintenance. Use analogies such as painting a house or changing the oil in a car.
  • Commitment from agencies . . .
    This commitment must begin with FHWA, from both headquarters and the divisions, before it can be embraced by other agencies.
  • Define and document the benefits of a pavement preservation program . . .
    Commitment to adopt a preservation program is lukewarm in a lot of places and there is concern that FHWA upper management doesn't support it. In order to be adopted, the commitment of leadership is essential. This is a call for FHWA.
  • Clarify eligibility of federal aid funds for pavement preservation use . . .
    The FHWA must ensure that division offices are familiar with policy and that they communicate the same message to the States. Lots of agencies are still not aware that federal funds can be used in the preservation area.
  • Outreach to Stakeholders, Industry, Legislature, Public, DOT's . . .
    There needs to be a collective effort to develop an outreach program that reaches all constituents.
  • Streamlining business plans . . .
    Environmental and safety approval processes simply take too long on preservation projects to obtain approvals. One year lost in doing a job can mean falling behind the curve and impacting the cost effectiveness.
  • Pavement management systems are based on failure oriented measures . . .
    Many PMS are outdated and need to develop maintenance condition measures that detect preservation needs before failure occurs. Integrating preventive preservation into a pavement management system is an important task to complete so we can adequately manage our pavement system. Current distress measures and trigger points in pavement management systems are not responsive to pavement preservation needs.
  • Economic analysis . . .
    Life cycle costs analysis is an important process to understand in order to sell the pavement preservation concept. Anecdotal information is available, but not sufficient to sell the concept. Both LLC and user costs fully support proactive preservation concepts.
  • Document what works and what does not . . .
    Guidelines are needed on what action to use, where to use it, and performance expectations to sell a pavement preservation program. Pavement preservation needs to be a planned strategy, not just selecting one treatment over another.
  • Pavement engineering has changed . . .
    Include the philosophy of pavement preservation as part of an engineer's education. From the initial pavement design the types of preservation activities need to be factored in the pavement life. The pavement engineer is no longer only a designer.
  • Best practices policy ...
    A best practice's synthesis or guidebook would be an excellent outreach tool. No research project is needed to get this accomplished.
  • Create a guideline to develop a pavement preservation strategy . . .
    Agencies need guidance in order to formulate and initiate a successful program.
  • Pavement preservation is a department program . . .
    It is time to end the myth that pavement preservation is a maintenance program, it should be adopted as a department wide program in every agency.
  • Convey that pavement preservation strategies are the best solution in lean economic times . . .
    When budgets are running short, low cost, effective treatments can be very effective and extend the life of the pavement system.
  • Qualified contractors are important to DOT's . . .
    To have continuous funding it's a chicken and egg approach. Without qualified contractors, it is nearly impossible to develop and maintain an effective pavement preservation program. They need to see a long-term commitment to a preservation program before they willingly invest resources that are necessary to do quality work.

2. The Research session was facilitated by David Peshkin.

Before the results of the research group's efforts were presented, a review was made of recent efforts in this area. A large number of preventive maintenance research topics have been put forward by various segments of the pavement community over the past four years. For example, in 1999, the AASHTO Lead State Team for Pavement Preservation issued "Research Protocols for Pavement Preservation"(copies are available at the AASHTO Innovative Highway Technologies Web site, http://leadstates.tamu.edu/pp/research_protocols.stm). That report describes one of the goals of the Lead State Team "to establish the need for pavement preservation research and to have various states/agencies construct test sections (with control test sections) by the year 2000."

The Maintenance Research Master Planning Workshop held at the January 2000 meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB 2000), had the goal of developing a 3-, 5-, and 10-year master plan of maintenance research needs. The report from that meeting describes four topics under the heading of pavement maintenance, but all is applied research for specific treatments.

In June 2001, a workshop on pavement preservation research was held in Sacramento, California, which produced a joint report by FHWA and the Foundation for Pavement Preservation entitled, "Pavement Preservation Research Problem Statements," June 21-22, 2001, Publication No. FHWA-IF-02-017, U.S. Department of Transportation. That workshop resulted in the development of 50 research problem statements in the following areas:

  • Construction practices
  • Material selection and design
  • Treatment strategies and selection
  • Performance evaluation
  • Training
  • Policy

Despite these various efforts, the only topic on which there is a widespread consensus is the need for further research. Pavement preservation competes with a host of other worthy research needs for the limited funding that is available. In addition to these initiatives, the TRB Pavement Maintenance Committee and the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance routinely propose research topics for consideration and funding by NCHRP. These efforts have not generally resulted in funded R&D projects.

Research Topics. The group began by looking at a research statement included in Neil Hawks' F-SHRP presentation handout. In Appendix A of the handout, four objectives were listed under Project 1-1.2, "Integrating the -Mix of Fixes- Strategy into Corridor Development." The objectives, paraphrased below, were suggested by the group as a good summary of research topics on pavement preservation.

  • How can preventive maintenance treatments be integrated into an overall process of pavement management?
  • What types of treatments are appropriate for preventive maintenance under different conditions, and what is the effect of those treatments under those conditions?
  • What is the best time to apply preventive maintenance?
  • What methods are appropriate for selecting preventive maintenance treatments?
  • How to establish an effective Pavement Preservation Program?

The group identified performance-related specifications and warranties for preventive maintenance as an additional important research topic. However, there was also considerable discussion about whether the treatments or the users were ready for performance-related specifications.

A final key topic discussed at length was whether or not preventive maintenance is even effective. It was proposed that considering the need for any research begs the fundamental question for fully documenting the benefits and cost-effectiveness of preventive maintenance. This work was not completed in the SHRP Program from 1987-92.

Advancing Research. A new approach must be tried if efforts to advance the pavement preservation research agenda are to be successful. The agenda is not moving because of a lack of ideas or lack of interest, but rather the absence of a unified front from the pavement preservation community and the failure to present that unified front to the funding agencies that has hampered any previous efforts.

As a result, the following steps are proposed to develop a unified, realistic, and coherent set of research problem statements and an overall research program that could be funded and carried out in an expeditious manner:

  • Conduct a national level workshop to develop pavement preservation research program for the next five years under the auspices of NCHRP 20-07 funding.
  • Identify and secure the attendance of participants who can make a meaningful contribution and help to see the identified research needs to fruition.
  • Select a facilitator to organize the meeting and deliver a final report.
  • Extract, develop, and flush-out the ideas generated at this workshop.
  • Publish the findings and present them to appropriate funding groups (discussed at a concurrent session of a think tank meeting).

The success of this approach requires that the following steps be followed:

  1. The Pavements Task Force of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance recommends the need for a 20-07 project to the Subcommittee.
  2. The AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance approves, and forwards the recommendation to NCHRP and the Standing Committee on Highways (copy attached.)
  3. The AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways approves and requests NCHRP assistance.

If approved, this initiative can be undertaken as a "sole source" contract and the contracting effort can be started fairly rapidly so it's completed by late Fall 2003.

3. The Funding session was facilitated by Gary Hicks. The issues and solutions are:

  • The need to ensure language is in the TEA-21 re-authorization bill to fund pavement preservation and the corresponding education and research efforts. At present, the university research capabilities in the pavement preservation arena are very limited.
  • F-SHRP funding will require a compelling argument in order to fund research in pavement preservation. We need to sell pavement preservation to F-SHRP and to state CEO's. The LTAP Centers can help sell the concept to local agencies.
  • The FHWA does not have any available discretionary funding because of all the earmarks in the pavement research program area. NCHRP funding is generated through the Standing Committee on Research and projects need to be submitted by the states. Most current funding for research through the FHWA from the highway trust fund and a preservation platform does not exist. The research can be any or all of the following:
    1. Authorized - SP&R, NCHRP, F-SHRP
    2. Authorized earmarks - WRI, UNH, ACPA, GSB-88, NCAT, etc.
    3. Appropriated - State design/construction dollars
  • SP&R funds are the probably best source for pavement preservation. Since 1980, the funding in each bill has increased. The first year of each bill (2004) is a good time to pursue work, especially pooled fund studies like the micro-surface design study. If the study is of national significance, it may be possible to waive the state match (20%). The state must be willing to provide a management team for pooled fund studies.
  • The university transportation centers (copy attached) are a possible funding source. We must look at the existing centers to determine who is doing what research and match needs with resources available.
  • There is a need to connect state maintenance people with researchers in the various states. Most research efforts are currently located in the materials groups. The Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP) is a good example to follow and always seems to get research funded. The AASHTO SCoM is pursuing this with AASHTO management.
  • AASHTO is supportive of the asset management program, of which pavement preservation is a key component. The Task Force on Asset Management should be encouraged to more fully support the preservation program and its research needs. The 20-7 activity can be used to leverage activities within the AASHTO subcommittees on maintenance and materials, the joint task force on pavements, and others. Gary Hoffman, a strong supporter of pavement preservation, leads the 20-7 group.

In summary, there are numerous possible state and federal funding sources including TEA-21, F-SHRP, NCHRP, FHWA, SP&R and pooled fund studies. However, none of them is currently a perfect fit for pavement preservation and this program's R&D needs.

Creating a Partnership to Meet Preservation Research, Development, and Technology:

Bill Ballou, National Pavement Preservation Leader, Koch Pavement Solutions, proposed a partnership agreement to underscore the need and commitment required to implement an asset management philosophy through pavement preservation. This agreement will recognize the partners that attended the meeting today. The document will be further refined by Tommy Beatty before distribution to the participants.

On behalf of the FHWA, Tommy Beatty expressed appreciation for the meeting.

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Updated: 01/07/2016
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