New Standard Has States Speaking the Same Language on Pavement Cracking
The recent introduction of a new American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) provisional standard on pavement
cracking measurement has, for the first time, given States a shared
system for measuring this type of pavement distress. "Twenty
years ago, States started to routinely monitor pavement condition.
However, as each State developed their own pavement management system,
we wound up with 50 different ways to measure pavement distress,"
says Frank Botelho of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Complicating
matters further, as pavement measurements became automated, manufacturers
and vendors had to design and retest equipment separately for each
State. This adds time to the process and increases the cost of doing
Ten years ago, AASHTO and FHWA set out to develop standards for the
four most common pavement distress measurements used by State highway
agencies for network level pavement management. First on the list
were standards for measuring ride, rutting, and faulting, which were
voted on and accepted by States in 1999. The pavement cracking measurement
standard was voted on and accepted in 2000 and now joins these standards.
Still to come are needed procedures for testing and certifying automated
equipment and for providing quality control/quality assurance. "Having
these three standards for measuring distress, certifying equipment,
and performing quality control/quality assurance in place will give
highway agencies maximum assurance that they are collecting good quality
data," says Botelho.
"The new standard allows States to speak the same language,"
says Ken Fults of the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) and
chair of a special committee formed by the AASHTO Joint Task Force
on Pavements to work on the standards. "I can now call up Georgia,
for example, and easily exchange data with them. It will also help
vendors in developing equipment, ultimately leading to lower prices
The standard, entitled "Standard Practice for Quantifying Cracks
in Asphalt Pavement Surface" (No. PP 44-01), was published in
AASHTO Provisional Standards, April 2001 Interim Edition (Publication
No. HM-20-COM). The publication can be ordered from AASHTO at 1-800-231-3475
For more information, contact Frank Botelho at FHWA, 202-366-1336
(fax: 202-366-9981; email: firstname.lastname@example.org),
or Ken Fults at Texas DOT, 512-465-7741 (email: email@example.com).
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