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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > June 2005 > A Helping Hand in Preserving Our Pavement Investment
June 2005Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-027

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A Helping Hand in Preserving Our Pavement Investment

State highway agencies seeking to develop, expand, or improve their pavement preservation programs now have a valuable new resource available to them. The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Asset Management has launched a Pavement Preservation Technical Assistance Program to work with highway agencies to evaluate their pavement preservation programs. The National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP) at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, will coordinate with the individual State and the local FHWA division office to conduct interviews to assess procedures, policies, and programs associated with pavement preservation. "The goal is to help States assess where they are and provide comments and recommendations on what they can do to further develop and enhance their pavement preservation programs," says Tom Deddens of FHWA's Construction and System Preservation Team.

Pavement preservation is a network level, long-term strategy that enhances pavement performance by using a variety of cost-effective surface treatments that extend pavement life. These treatments must be carefully selected and must be applied before the pavement sustains structural damage. As implementation of pavement preservation programs increases nationwide, however, each highway agency faces different challenges in applying pavement preservation treatments and establishing an effective preservation program in its State. FHWA's technical assistance program will help agencies assess their particular circumstances and address challenges that may exist. FHWA and NCPP will also benefit by obtaining data to establish a national baseline for pavement preservation practices.

Each review will include approximately 80 hours of program assessment and interviews with key highway personnel involved in the development, implementation, and management of the State's pavement maintenance, evaluation, and preservation programs. "The intent of the technical assistance will be to assess these components to identify both sound engineering practices and those practices that could be refined or improved to provide a more effective pavement preservation program," says Deddens. A closeout meeting will be held with the participants from each State to discuss observations, make recommendations, and suggest enhancements and/or improvements.

Information gathered during the assessments will be used to create a database so that pavement preservation practices and trends can be tracked nationally. "The database will provide a long-term tool for sharing best practices and assessing the success of the preservation program nationwide," says Deddens. "It will also help us examine variables that can adversely affect pavement preservation treatments, such as application timing, environmental factors, and traffic loads. These results may also answer questions regarding the expected service life of various treatments."

For more information or to schedule a review, contact Tom Deddens at FHWA, 202-366-1557 (email: tom.deddens@fhwa.dot.gov).

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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