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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
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Publication Number: FHWARD98155 Date: FEBRUARY 1999 
Performancerelated specifications
(PRS) have capabilities beyond traditional QA specifications. These capabilities
include clearly defining lots and sublots (for all sampling and testing), the subsequent
sampling and testing of key AQC's that relate directly to the future performance of
the constructed pavement, and predicting future LCC's used to compute contractor pay
adjustments (incentives and disincentives). Thus, the level of quality (expressed as
a mean and standard deviation) achieved for each of the key AQC's can be related
directly to rationally computed pay adjustments based on sound economic principles.
The initial groundbreaking work on PRS was done by R.M.
Weed for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.^{(7)} This
work provided a basis for the prototype PRS developed under a previous FHWA research
study. (See references 1, 2, 3, and 8.) The prototype used an innovative approach
that considered the estimated future LCC of the pavement as the overall measure of
quality. Under the prototype, target values (means and standard deviations) must be
established for four key AQC's (concrete strength, slab thickness, entrained air
content, and initial smoothness). These AQC's are then measured from the in
situ pavement during construction. The computed asconstructed AQC lot means are
then used in established mathematical models to predict key distress indicators
(transverse joint faulting, transverse cracking, transverse joint spalling, and PSR) over
a chosen analysis period. The amount of the pay adjustment is then based on the AQC
qualityrelated increase or decrease in future LCC's expected to be incurred by the
agency over the chosen analysis life of the project (assuming a given rehabilitation
policy). A computer software program, PaveSpec, was developed to demonstrate the
prototype specification.
Although the prototype PRS were based on rational concepts, researchers
realized that an attempt to implement such specifications would most likely
be met with resistance. This resistance would result from the general
unfamiliarity with the current PRS concepts, the dependency of computed
pay adjustments on the PaveSpec software, the additional costs associated
with strongly emphasized in situ testing, and the need to simulate the
actual pay factor in the field. Under the current research project, a
strategy was developed to aid in the acceptance and implementation of
the revised prototype PRS. This involved the development of three different
PRS implementation levels. Each of these is described in detail in the
following section.
The overall goal of PRS research is to progress toward developing ideal PRS that incorporate all important AQC's of PCC pavements that not only affect pavement performance, but are also under the control of the contractor. As a means of achieving this goal, future research should attempt to:
Obviously, much research is needed to develop and implement an ideal PRS. Such an
effort will take much more research and funding. Therefore, as a means of organizing
the envisioned work needed to develop these ideal PRS, three different levels
(chronological steps) of PRS implementation were proposed. These three levels are
defined as follows:
The Level 1 pay factor computation method is based on calculating independent pay factors for each AQC (all other AQC's are assumed to be equal to the target values). Each of these pay factors is determined from a series of developed pay factor versus AQC mean curves. These curves, each specific to a different asconstructed AQC standard deviation, are created by correlating simulated lot pay factors over a range of AQC means. Each computed pay factor is, therefore, a function of the measured asconstructed mean and standard deviation, target mean and standard deviation, and sample size. Final payment for the lot is based on a chosen CPF equation (expressed as a simple mathematical function of the independently determined AQC pay factors). This Level 1 CPF is an estimate of the pay factor determined using the more rigorous procedures of Level 2.
The Level 2 pay factor computation method calculates lot pay factors by directly
comparing simulated asdesigned (target) and asconstructed LCC's. Interactions
of AQC's are included in the simulations (e.g., an increase in concrete strength may
counteract a deficiency in slab thickness). The pay factor calculation is based on
the premise of liquidated damages. Final payment for the lot is based on the
simulated pay factor determined using the PaveSpec software.
Table 1.
Details of the three proposed PRS implementation levels.