U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
|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
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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
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