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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-090    Date:  January 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-090
Date: January 2018


Guidelines for Informing Decisionmaking to Affect Pavement Performance Measures: Final Report

CHAPTER 5. Summary, Challenges, and Recommendations


The objective of these guidelines is to provide information and guidance to highway agencies on the following key pavement decisionmaking issues:

The goal of the guidelines was to show agencies what needs to happen to move the overall condition from poor to fair to good. In meeting this goal, the guidelines will enable highway agencies to address critical questions, such as the following:

These guidelines have presented step-by-step approaches for the following:

Examples illustrating each of the above approaches were provided. These examples addressed all three pavement types—AC, JPCC, and CRCP. The guidelines also introduced important issues that should be considered by highway agencies, including measurement errors and temporal changes.

The examples and calculations presented were based on data from the LTPP dataset and developed for the purpose of the research study that led to these guidelines.(4) The LTPP database is available through LTPP InfoPave™ (https://infopave.fhwa.dot.gov/). These guidelines present examples that represent a starting point for agencies that could be used as default input if needed. However, agencies are encouraged to follow the processes in the guidelines using their own data to draw more representative conclusions for their agency. Once an agency has completed the steps presented in these guidelines, the next logical step to consider is to integrate the findings within the agency’s PMS.

Challenges and Recommendations

An important consideration is the challenges agencies may face when integrating the performance measures within their practices. This section presents some of these challenges.

Agencies are required to meet the performance measures or face loss of flexibility for spending National Highway Performance Program funds until the minimum required condition levels are exceeded. Therefore, it is critical that agencies understand what metrics drive the performance measures and how performance measures are affected by M&R treatments and, based on that information, determine how the performance measures will be incorporated into their decisionmaking process. As a minimum, it is recommended that agencies add the performance measures to the output of the PMS and treatment selection optimization to monitor the values of the performance measures. It is also recommended that agencies perform similar analyses as those described in these guidelines and develop a list of potential M&R treatments that affect the performance measures or a treatment matrix. Furthermore, and to the extent possible, it is recommended that agencies incorporate these suggestions based on a long-term view of the overall health of their networks.

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