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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > April 2000 > States Make Major Strides in Adopting Pavement Preservation Strategies
April 2000Publication Number: FHWA-RD-00-057

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States Make Major Strides in Adopting Pavement Preservation Strategies

For the past 3.5 years, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Lead States Team for Pavement Preservation has been working with FHWA, industry, and highway agencies across the country to improve the practice of pavement preservation. "The goal of the Lead States team was to have all agencies recognize that pavement preservation strategy plays an important role in managing an agency's investment in pavements," says Wouter Gulden of the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) and leader of AASHTO's Lead States Team for Pavement Preservation.

To assess the current status of pavement preventive maintenance strategies in North America, the Lead States team recently conducted a survey of transportation agencies in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as 6 Canadian Provinces.

Thirty-four of the 40 agencies that have responded to date report that they have established pavement preventive maintenance programs. Half of those programs have existed for more than 10 years, and only seven are less than 3 years old. Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • Half of the reporting agencies characterize their pavement preventive maintenance program administration as being a mixture of centralization and decentralization.
  • Thirty of the agencies have pavement preservation programs that are integrated with pavement management systems.
  • Dedicated funding is available for pavement preventive maintenance activities in 28 of the reporting agencies.
  • Agencies in 25 States have established guidelines for pavement preventive maintenance activities, and another 4 agencies are in the process of developing guidelines.
  • Most agencies try to apply pavement treatments while the pavement is in good or fair condition. Half of the agencies, however, report that they are applying treatments to pavements in poor condition. Treatment decisions are generally made on a case-by-case basis using objective criteria.
  • Overlays are the most frequently cited pavement treatment, followed by single-course chip seals, crack treatments, and single-course microsurfacing.
  • The number of pavement preservation strategies used in each State varies widely, from none to 16.

Gulden says, "The survey tells us that agencies are taking major strides in recognizing the value of adopting pavement preservation strategies in improving the conditions of their pavements. Money spent on pavement preservation is well spent."

For more information, contact Wouter Gulden at Georgia DOT, 404-363-7512 (fax: 404-362-4925; email:, or Bob Davies at FHWA, phone: 202-366-2023 (fax: 202-366-9981; email:                                                                 

Funds Spent Annually on Pavement Preventive Maintenance Programs, as Reported by 35 Agencies

Dollars (Millions)


Less than 10








Over 75


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Updated: 02/20/2015

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