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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-08-065
Date: November 2008

Long-Term Pavement Performance Compliance With Department of Transportation Information Dissemination Quality Guidelines


On October 1, 2002, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued Information Dissemination Quality Guidelines (IDQG) to implement Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for fiscal year (FY) 2001. The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure and maximize the quality, utility, objectivity, and integrity of information that is disseminated. This document presents the policies and procedures established by the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program related to compliance with the DOT IDQG.

In the interest of brevity, this document does not recite all of the DOT IDQG specifications. Instead, each chapter on a specific topic covered in the DOT IDQG provides a general summary of the intent of the guidelines. A copy of the DOT IDQG can be found at http://www.thecre.com/pdf/20021026_dot-final.pdf.


The LTPP program started as a States initiative in the early 1980s. Preimplementation research planning was conducted under a joint effort between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). These plans were published by NCHRP in May 1986 in the report Strategic Highway Research Program: Research Plans. Implementation of the LTPP program was authorized under the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Act of 1987. The 20-year LTPP program began operations under the 5-year Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) administered by the National Academy of Sciences. In 1992, the FHWA made a commitment to assume management and administrative responsibilities to continue LTPP and complete the baseline 20-year period of pavement performance monitoring. Continuation of LTPP under FHWA was formally authorized by Congress in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). In 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) funded LTPP as a national program to 2003.

The LTPP Program received its foundational mission from a 1984 study entitled, America's Highways: Accelerating the Search for Innovation (Special Report 202), published by the TRB. The program's mission is to "increase pavement life by the investigation of the long-term performance of various designs of pavement structures and rehabilitated pavement structures, using different materials and under different loads, environments, subgrade soils, and maintenance practices." The strategic goals and objectives for LTPP were stated in the original LTPP work plan as follows:

LTPP Data Quality Highlights

Data quality has been a prime concern in the development and operation of the LTPP program. Although the LTPP program started more than 14 years prior to the issuance of the Federal data quality guidelines, it is remarkable how many of the concepts and procedures contained in the guidelines were followed by LTPP. Some of the highlights of the LTPP data quality process include the following:

As a unique national research program whose operations model consists of providing research quality data for analysis to those who did not participate in the data collection process, all of the issues in recent Federal guides on data quality had to be addressed by LTPP. Improvements are continuously occurring to enhance LTPP's conformance to the new IDQG. These improvements are resource constrained and are dependent on budget allocation from Congress.


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