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REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-13-038    Date:  November 2013
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-038
Date: November 2013

 

Reformulated Pavement Remaining Service Life Framework

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FOREWORD

Many important decisions are necessary in order to successfully provide and manage a pavement network. At the heart of this process is the prediction of needed future construction events. One approach to providing a single numeric on the condition of a pavement network is the use of pavement remaining service life (RSL). However, many issues exist with the current RSL terminology and resulting numeric that complicate proper interpretation, interagency data exchange, and use. A major source of uncertainty in the current RSL definition is the use of the term "life" to represent multiple points in the pavement construction history. The recommended path to consistency involves adopting terminology of time remaining until a defined construction treatment is required (i.e., RSL is replaced by remaining service interval (RSI)). The term "RSI" has the ability to unify the outcome of different approaches to determine needs by focusing on when and what treatments are needed and the service interruption created. This report presents the framework for replacing the current RSL terminology with one based on more exact construction event terms. It provides detailed information on the research performed concerning remaining pavement life. It explores many issues that exist with the current RSL terminology that complicate proper interpretation, interagency data exchange, and use. While this report focuses on pavements, it is also applicable to other types of transportation infrastructure. A companion document provides step-by-step guidelines for implementing the RSI terminology.(1) This report is intended for use by pavement managers and pavement investment decisionmakers across the United States.

Jorge E. Pagán-Ortiz
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development

Notice

This document is distributed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

 

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Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-13-038

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Reformulated Pavement Remaining Service Life Framework

5. Report Date

November 2013

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Gary E. Elkins, Travis M. Thompson, Jonathan L. Groeger, Beth Visintine, and Gonzalo R. Rada

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, Inc.
12000 Indian Creek Court, Suite F
Beltsville, MD 20705-1242

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-08-C-00033
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Draft Report, October 2009–April 2012

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes
The Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) was Nadarajah Sivaneswaran, HRDI-20.
16. Abstract

Many important decisions are necessary in order to effectively provide and manage a pavement network. At the heart of this process is the prediction of needed future construction events. One approach to providing a single numeric on the condition of a pavement network is the use of pavement remaining service life (RSL). However, many issues exist with the current RSL terminology and resulting numeric that complicate proper interpretation, interagency data exchange, and use. A major source of uncertainty in the current RSL definition is the use of the term "life" to represent multiple points in the pavement construction history. The recommended path to consistency involves adopting terminology of time remaining until a defined construction treatment is required (i.e., RSL is replaced by remaining service interval (RSI)). The term "RSI" has the ability to unify the outcome of different approaches to determine needs by focusing on when and what treatments are needed and the service interruption created. This report presents the framework for replacing the current RSL terminology with one based on more exact construction event terms. A companion document provides step-by-step guidelines for implementing the RSI terminology.(1)

17. Key Words

Pavement remaining service life, Pavement remaining life, Pavement remaining service interval, Pavement construction events, Pavement construction triggers, Pavement threshold limits, Pavement performance curves, Pavement data collection, Pavement strategy selection

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

80

22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Refocus of Pavement Remaining Life Vocabulary

Chapter 3. Future Construction Needs Analysis Framework

Chapter 4. Construction Triggers

Chapter 5. Threshold Limits

Chapter 6. Performance Curves

Chapter 7. Collection of Inputs

Chapter 8. Strategy Selection

Chapter 9. Assessment and Update

Chapter 10. Summary

Appendix A. Pavement Design and Management Concepts

Appendix B. Pavement RSL Prediction Models

References

Bibliography

List of Figures

Figure 1. Flowchart. Future pavement construction needs process
Figure 2. Graph. Conceptual relationship between agency repair costs as a function of pavement condition
Figure 3. Graph. Basic concept of modern pavement design
Figure 4. Graph. Illustrated service histories of trial pavement designs incorporating future overlays
Figure 5. Graph. Staged pavement construction design concept
Figure 6. Graph. Perpetual pavement design concept based on construction of a pavement where distresses occur in the pavement surface layer
Figure 7. Graph. Multiple distress-based pavement design where one of the distresses reaches a maximum threshold limit
Figure 8. Graph. Three treatment zones as a function of pavement condition
Figure 9. Graph. Conceptual tradeoffs among pavement resistive capacity, construction costs, and maintenance, repair, and restoration costs
Figure 10. Graph. Concept of increasing repair cost as a function of pavement deterioration
Figure 11. Graph. Classical bathtub curve of component failure rate versus time

List of Tables

Table 1. Role of RSL models in levels and types of pavement management business
decisions
Table 2. PSR threshold values used in the HPMS analytical process for minimum
tolerable conditions for overlay and reconstruction

List of Abbreviations

AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
AC Asphalt concrete
ADT Average daily traffic
ESAL Equivalent single-axle load
FN Friction number
FHWA

Federal Highway Administration

FWD Falling weight deflectometer
HERS Highway Economic Requirements System
HMA Hot mix asphalt
HPMS Highway Performance Monitoring System
IRI International Roughness Index
JPCP Jointed plain concrete pavement
LCC

Life-cycle cost

LCCA Life-cycle cost analysis
LTPP Long-Term Pavement Performance
MEPDG

Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide

M&R Maintenance and rehabilitation
MTBF Mean time between failures
NAPCOM National Pavement Cost Model
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NCDC National Climate Data Center
NHS National Highway System
ODOT Ohio Department of Transportation
PCC Portland cement concrete
PCI Pavement Condition Index
PDF Probability density function
PH Proportional hazard
PHT Pavement health track
PMS

Pavement management system

PSI Present Serviceability Index
PSR Present serviceability rating
RSI

Remaining service interval

RSL Remaining service life
SHA State highway agency
SI Serviceability Index
SN

Structural number

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The remaining service life (RSL) concept has been around for decades and is well entrenched in the pavement community. It is used at all levels of the pavement management decision process to plan for future field construction events. However, there is no single, clear, widely accepted definition of RSL. Moreover, there is a great deal of uncertainty associated with the definition, especially with the use of the term "life" to represent different points in a pavement's construction history In addition, "life" is interpreted differently by stakeholders.

To overcome the RSL shortcomings, this framework introduces terminology that removes the word "life" from the lexicon since it is the basis for confusion. Instead, the new terminology, known as the remaining service interval (RSI) introduces the concept of time remaining until a defined construction event is required. Pavements are comprised of interrelated structural parts that can be maintained, preserved, restored, rehabilitated, or reconstructed to serve the intended transportation needs.

The RSI concept does not provide an alternative to assessing the health of the network or making decisions about where to spend the available funds. It simply provides a clear terminology and a logical process that will create a consistent construction event-based terminology and understanding (i.e., types of construction events and the timing of those events within the concept of life-cycle cost (LCC), risk analyses, and other prioritization approaches based on streams of future construction events and benefits to facility users).

 

 

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