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REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-13-092    Date:  May 2014
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-092
Date: May 2014

 

Distress Identification Manual for The Long-Term Pavement Performance Program (Fifth Revised Edition)

PDF Version (7.85 MB)

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FOREWORD

The Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program has provided a wide variety of benefits related to field data collection equipment and procedures. It is estimated that 90 percent of State highway agencies use LTPP data collection equipment or test methods. Numerous LTPP data collection procedures have been adopted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and industry, with the most widely implemented being this Distress Identification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program (DIM) with thousands of requests for copies of the DIM being fulfilled. First issued in 1987, the DIM was developed to provide a consistent, uniform basis for collecting pavement distress data for the LTPP program. It has now been updated to this 5th edition.

The DIM provides a common language for describing cracks, potholes, rutting, spalling, and other pavement distresses being monitored by the LTPP program. Highway agencies at all levels of government can and are using the DIM to standardize pavement condition data collection, produce consistent pavement condition ratings, and train their pavement managers in data collection procedures. Implementation of the DIM enables highway agencies to collect data on roads without spending valuable resources developing their own nomenclature, definitions, severity levels, and measurement methods. It also allows a common understanding among practitioners of the definition of pavement distress features.

The manual is divided into three sections, each focusing on a particular type of pavement:
(1) asphalt concrete-surfaced, (2) jointed portland cement concrete (PCC), and (3) continuously reinforced PCC. Each distress is clearly labeled, described, and illustrated.

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

Notice

This document is disseminated 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.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-13-092

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

Distress Identification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program (Fifth Revised Edition)

5. Report Date

May 2014

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

John S. Miller and William Y. Bellinger

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

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

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
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

Manual

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

The Technical Consultant was Aramis López.

16. Abstract

Accurate, consistent, and repeatable distress evaluation surveys can be performed by using the Distress Identification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Program. Color photographs and drawings illustrate the distresses found in three basic pavement types: asphalt concrete-surfaced, jointed (plain and reinforced) portland cement concrete, and continuously reinforced concrete. Drawings of the distress types provide a reference to assess their severity. Methods for measuring the size of distresses and for assigning severity levels are given. The manual also describes how to conduct the distress survey and measure cracks in the pavement. Sample forms for recording and reporting the data are included. The manual also tells how to calibrate and operate fault measurement devices.

17. Key Words

Distress, LTPP, Pavement, Cracking, Rutting, Faulting

18. Distribution Statement

Unlimited

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

137

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

 

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Measuring Crack Width in ACPs
Figure 2. Effect on Severity Level of Block Cracking due to Associated Random Cracking
Figure 3. Distress Type ACP 1-Fatigue Cracking
Figure 4. Distress Type ACP 1-Chicken Wire/Alligator Pattern Cracking Typical in Fatigue Cracking
Figure 5. Distress Type ACP 1-Low Severity Fatigue Cracking
Figure 6. Distress Type ACP 1-Moderate Severity Fatigue Cracking
Figure 7. Distress Type ACP 1-High Severity Fatigue Cracking with Spalled Interconnected Cracks
Figure 8. Distress Type ACP 2-Block Cracking
Figure 9. Distress Type ACP 2-Block Cracking with Fatigue Cracking in the Wheel Paths
Figure 10. Distress Type ACP 2-High Severity Block Cracking
Figure 11. Distress Type ACP 3-Edge Cracking
Figure 12. Distress Type ACP 3-Low Severity Edge Cracking
Figure 13. Distress Type ACP 4-Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 14. Distress Type ACP 4a-Moderate Severity Longitudinal Cracking in the Wheel Path
Figure 15. Distress Type ACP 4b-High Severity Longitudinal Cracking not in the Wheel Path
Figure 16. Distress Type ACP 5-Reflection Cracking at Joints
Figure 17. Distress Type ACP 5-High Severity Reflection Cracking at Joints
Figure 18. Distress Type ACP 6-Transverse Cracking ACPs
Figure 19. Distress Type ACP 6-Low Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 20. Distress Type ACP 6-Moderate Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 21. Distress Type ACP 6-High Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 22. Distress Type ACP 7-Patch/Patch Deterioration
Figure 23. Distress Type ACP 7-Low Severity Patch
Figure 24. Distress Type ACP 7-Low Severity Patch
Figure 25. Distress Type ACP 7-High Severity Patch
Figure 26. Distress Type ACP 8-Potholes
Figure 27. Distress Type ACP 8-Low Severity Pothole
Figure 28. Distress Type ACP 8-Moderate Severity Pothole
Figure 29. Distress Type ACP 8-Moderate Severity Pothole, Close-up View
Figure 30. Distress Type ACP 8-High Severity Pothole, Close-up View
Figure 31. Distress Type ACP 9-Rutting
Figure 32. Distress Type ACP 9-Rutting
Figure 33. Distress Type ACP 9-Standing Water in Ruts
Figure 34. Distress Type ACP 10-Shoving
Figure 35. Distress Type ACP 10-Shoving in Pavement Surface
Figure 36. Distress Type ACP 11-Discoloration
Figure 37. Distress Type ACP 11-Loss of Texture
Figure 38. Distress Type ACP 11- Aggregate Obscured
Figure 39. Distress Type ACP 12-Polished Aggregate
Figure 40. Distress Type ACP 13-Loss of Fine Aggregate
Figure 41. Distress Type ACP 13-Loss of Fine and Some Coarse Aggregate
Figure 42. Distress Type ACP 13-Loss of Coarse Aggregate
Figure 43. Distress Type ACP 14-Lane-to-Shoulder Dropoff
Figure 44. Distress Type ACP 14-Lane-to-Shoulder Dropoff
Figure 45. Distress Type ACP 15-Water Bleeding and Pumping
Figure 46. Distress Type ACP 15-Fine Material Left on Surface by Water Bleeding and Pumping
Figure 47. Measuring Widths of Spalls and Cracks in JCP
Figure 48. Distress Type JCP 1-Corner Breaks
Figure 49. Distress Type JCP 1-Low Severity Corner Break
Figure 50. Distress Type JCP 1-Moderate Severity Corner Break
Figure 51. Distress Type JCP 2- "D" Cracking
Figure 52. Distress Type JCP 2- Moderate Severity "D" Cracking with Well-Defined Pattern
Figure 53. Distress Type JCP 2-High Severity "D" Cracking with Loose and Missing Material
Figure 54. Distress Type JCP 3-Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 55. Distress Type JCP 3-Low Severity Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 56. Distress Type JCP 3-Moderate Severity Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 57. Distress Type JCP 3-High Severity Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 58. Distress Type JCP 4-Transverse Cracking
Figure 59. Distress Type JCP 4-Moderate Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 60. Distress Type JCP 4-High Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 61. Distress Type JCP 5-Low Severity Joint Seal Damage
Figure 62. Distress Type JCP 5-Moderate Severity Joint Seal Damage
Figure 63. Distress Type JCP 6-Spalling of Longitudinal Joints
Figure 64. Distress Type JCP 6-Low Severity Spalling of Longitudinal Joint
Figure 65. Distress Type JCP 6-High Severity Spalling of Longitudinal Joint
Figure 66. Distress Type JCP 7-Spalling of Transverse Joints
Figure 67. Distress Type JCP 7-Moderate Severity Spalling of Transverse Joint, Far View
Figure 68. Distress Type JCP 7-Moderate Severity Spalling of Transverse Joint, Close-up View
Figure 69. Distress Type JCP 8a-Map Cracking
Figure 70. Distress Type JCP 8b-Scaling
Figure 71. Distress Type JCP 8b-Scaling, Close-up View
Figure 72. Distress Type JCP 9-Polished Aggregate
Figure 73. Distress Type JCP 10-Popouts
Figure 74. Distress Type JCP 10-A Popout
Figure 75. Distress Type JCP 11-Blowups
Figure 76. Distress Type JCP 11-A Blowup
Figure 77. Distress Type JCP 12-Faulting of Transverse Joints and Cracks
Figure 78. Distress Type JCP 12-Faulting of Transverse Cracks
Figure 79. Distress Type JCP 13-Lane-to-Shoulder Dropoff
Figure 80. Distress Type JCP 13- Lane-to-Shoulder Dropoff
Figure 81. Distress Type JCP 14-Lane-to-Shoulder Separation
Figure 82. Distress Type JCP 14-Poorly Sealed Lane-to-Shoulder Separation
Figure 83. Distress Type JCP 14-Well-Sealed Lane-to-Shoulder Separation
Figure 84. Distress Type JCP 15-Patch/Patch Deterioration
Figure 85. Distress Type JCP 15-Small, Low Severity AC Patch
Figure 86. Distress Type JCP 15-Large, Low Severity AC Patch
Figure 87. Distress Type JCP 15-Large, High Severity AC Patch
Figure 88. Distress Type JCP 15-Large, Low Severity PCC Patch
Figure 89. Distress Type JCP 16-Water Bleeding and Pumping
Figure 90. Distress Type CRCP 1- "D" Cracking
Figure 91. Distress Type CRCP 1-Moderate Severity "D" Cracking at Transverse Crack
Figure 92. Distress Type CRCP 1-High Severity "D" Cracking at Longitudinal Joint
Figure 93. Distress Type CRCP 2-Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 94. Distress Type CRCP 2-Low Severity Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 95. Distress Type CRCP 2-High Severity Longitudinal Cracking
Figure 96. Distress Type CRCP 3-Transverse Cracking
Figure 97. Distress Type CRCP 3-Transverse Cracking Pattern
Figure 98. Distress Type CRCP 3-Low Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 99. Distress Type CRCP 3-Moderate Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 100. Distress Type CRCP 3-High Severity Transverse Cracking
Figure 101. Distress Type CRCP 4a-Map Cracking Attributable to Alkali-Silica Reactivity
Figure 102. Distress Type CRCP 4b-Scaling
Figure 103. Distress Type CRCP 5-Polished Aggregate
Figure 104. Distress Type CRCP 6-Popouts
Figure 105. Distress Type CRCP 6-Popouts
Figure 106. Distress Type CRCP 7-Blowups
Figure 107. Distress Type CRCP 7-A Blowup
Figure 108. Distress Type CRCP 7-Close-up View of a Blowup
Figure 109. Distress Type CRCP 7-Exposed Steel in a Blowup
Figure 110. Distress Type CRCP 8-Transverse Construction Joint Deterioration
Figure 111. Distress Type CRCP 8-Low Severity Transverse Construction Joint Deterioration
Figure 112. Distress Type CRCP 8- Moderate Severity Transverse Construction Joint Deterioration
Figure 113. Distress Type CRCP 8- Low Severity Transverse Construction Joint Deterioration
Figure 114. Distress Type CRCP 9-Lane-to-Shoulder Dropoff
Figure 115. Distress Type CRCP 9-Lane-to-Shoulder Dropoff
Figure 116. Distress Type CRCP 10-Lane-to-Shoulder Separation
Figure 117. Distress Type CRCP 10-Close-up View of a Lane-to-Shoulder Separation
Figure 118. Distress Type CRCP 11-Patch/Patch Deterioration
Figure 119. Distress Type CRCP 11-Small, Low Severity AC Patch
Figure 120. Distress Type CRCP 11-Low Severity AC Patch
Figure 121. Distress Type CRCP 11-Moderate Severity AC Patch
Figure 122. Distress Type CRCP 11-Low Severity PCC Patch
Figure 123. Distress Type CRCP 12-Punchouts
Figure 124. Distress Type CRCP 12-Low Severity Punchout
Figure 125. Distress Type CRCP 12-Moderate Severity Punchouts
Figure 126. Distress Type CRCP 12-High Severity Punchouts
Figure 127. Distress Type CRCP 13-Spalling of Longitudinal Joints
Figure 128. Distress Type CRCP 13-Close-up View of Low Severity Spalling of a Longitudinal Joint
Figure 129. Distress Type CRCP 13- Low Severity Spalling of a Longitudinal Joint
Figure 130. Distress Type CRCP 13-Moderate Severity Spalling of a Longitudinal Joint
Figure 131. Distress Type CRCP 14-Water Bleeding and Pumping
Figure 132. Distress Type CRCP 14-Close-up View of Water Bleeding and Pumping
Figure 133. Distress Type CRCP 15-Longitudinal Joint Seal Damage
Figure 134. Test Section Limits for Surveys-Asphalt Surface
Figure 135. Test Section Limits for Surveys-Concrete Surface
Figure 136. Locating Wheel Paths in ACP
Figure 137. Distress Map Symbols for ACPs
Figure 138. Example Map of First 30.5 m of ACP Section
Figure 139. Distress Map Symbols for JCPs
Figure 140. Example Map of First 30.5 m of a JCP Section
Figure 141. Distress Map Symbols for CRCPs
Figure 142. Example Map of First 30.5 m of a CRCP Section
Figure 143. The Georgia Faultmeter in Use

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. ACP Distress Types
Table 2. JCP Distress Types
Table 3. CRCP Distress Types

PREFACE

The Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) was created as a 5-year program. The goals of SHRP’s Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Program, however, required additional years of research. To meet these goals, LTPP was transferred from SHRP to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation on July 1, 1992, in accordance with the mandate of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.

The first SHRP Distress Identification Manual for the Long-Term Pavement Performance Studies (DIM) (1987) was authored by Kurt D. Smith, Michael I. Darter, Kathleen T. Hall, and J. Brent Rauhut. Support for that work was provided by FHWA under Contract No. DTFH61-85-C-0095 as part of a transition plan to support planned implementation of LTPP monitoring, pending SHRP funding authorization by Congress.

A second DIM version(1990) was developed by Karen Benson, Humberto Castedo, and Dimitrios G. Goulias, with guidance and support from W. R. Hudson. Support for the revision work was provided by SHRP as a part of Contract No. SHRP-87-P001.

Third and fourth versions were developed by John S. Miller, Richard Ben Rogers, and Gonzalo R. Rada, with guidance and support from William Yeadon Bellinger of FHWA. Guidance was also provided by the SHRP Distress Identification Manual Expert Task Group.

Valuable information, materials, and technical support were provided by the National Association of Australian State Road Authorities; Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications; American Public Works Association; the Asphalt Institute; the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet; the Michigan Department of Transportation; the Mississippi State Highway Department; the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department; the North Carolina Department of Transportation; the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; the Texas Department of Transportation; and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

This fifth version is the result of many years of practical experience using the previous versions. It incorporates refinements, changes, and LTPP directives that have occurred over time.

GUIDANCE TO LTPP USERS

Please follow the guidelines in appendix A ("Manual for Distress Surveys") to ensure the data collected will be comparable to other LTPP data. Sample data collection sheets are included in the appendix. As you evaluate a section of roadway, keep the manual handy to determine the type and severity of distress, and find the definition and illustration that best matches the pavement section being surveyed.

Appendix B describes how to use the Georgia digital faultmeter.

For more assistance in the identification of pavement distress, contact FHWA’s LTPP program.

GUIDANCE TO OTHER USERS

As a pavement distress dictionary, this manual will improve communications within the pavement community by fostering more uniform and consistent definitions of pavement distress. Highway agencies, airports, parking facilities, and others with significant investment in pavements will benefit from adopting a standard distress language.

Colleges and universities will use this manual in highway engineering courses. It also serves as a valuable training tool for highway agencies. Now when a distress is labeled "high severity fatigue cracking," for example, it is clear exactly what is meant. Repairs can be planned and executed more efficiently, saving the highway agency crew time and money.

Although not specifically designed as a pavement management tool, the Distress Identification Manual can play an important role in a State’s pavement management program by ridding reports of inconsistencies and variations caused by a lack of standardized terminology. Most pavement management programs do not need to collect data at the level of detail and precision required for the LTPP program, nor are the severity levels used in the manual necessarily appropriate for all pavement management situations. Thus, you may choose to modify the procedures (but not the definitions) contained in the manual to meet your specific needs, taking into account the desired level of detail, accuracy and timeliness of information, available resources, and predominant types of distress within the study area.

 

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