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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > August 2004 > Putting the Power of PMS Data to Work for You
August 2004Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-028

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Putting the Power of PMS Data to Work for You

Many States have been using pavement management systems (PMS) for the last 15 to 20 years, but until now they have primarily been employed for planning and programming purposes or as a budgeting tool. However, the years of historical pavement condition data stored in a PMS database can also be used for engineering analysis to evaluate the performance of pavements. A newly updated 2-day course available from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI), Analysis of PMS Data for Engineering Applications (Course no. 131105A), outlines how PMS data can be a powerful and valuable analysis tool.

First presented in 1998, the course was developed following visits to several States to learn how highway agencies were using their PMS databases for engineering analysis. Recently, FHWA conducted a new study to document how PMS databases can be used to track the real-life performance of Superpave pavements. The course has been updated to include information from this study, as well as information on using PMS data to track preventive maintenance work.

"There are many years of historical data in State DOT PMS databases that can and should be used to do engineering analysis. The alternative to using the data that already exists in PMS databases is to duplicate expensive data collection," says Stephen Gaj, System Management and Monitoring Team Leader in FHWA's Office of Asset Management. "There is also real value in linking other DOT databases with the PMS database so that duplicate data collection is unnecessary. This revised course shows how enhanced databases that are linked can be used to the State's advantage for a range of engineering applications."

The course includes the following modules:

  • Overview of Engineering Applications of PMS
  • Overview of Database needs
  • Superpave Performance Monitoring using the PMS and Other Databases
  • Performance and Pavement Monitoring
  • Pavement Overlay Design
  • Pavement Materials and Construction Performance
  • Tracking Preventive Maintenance actions.

For information on Scheduling the course, contact Danielle Mathis-Lee at NHI, 703-235-0528 (email: For information on course content, contact Sonya Hill at FHWA, 202-366-1337 (email:, or visit the NHI Web site at

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Updated: 02/20/2015

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