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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA- HRT-17-095    Date:  September 2017
Publication Number: FHWA- HRT-17-095
Date: September 2017


Pavement Performance Measures and Forecasting and The Effects of Maintenance and Rehabilitation Strategy on Treatment Effectiveness (Revised)


The efforts of the research team in this study focused on the following two objectives of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Data Analysis Program—Expanded Strategic Plan:(1)

These two objectives were addressed and accomplished through the development of the following products:

This study had the following specific objectives:

The dual pavement condition rating systems (described in chapter 3) are based on proposed ranges of the remaining functional period (RFP) and the remaining structural period (RSP). The research team used RFP, RSP, and LTPP-measured time-series pavement condition and distresses to develop efficient pavement performance quantification and prediction methodologies (see chapters 5 and 6). The methodologies were then used to study the benefits of various pavement treatments. The team calculated the pavement treatment benefits using various approaches, the LTPP data, and databases obtained from three State transportation departments—the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD, and the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The resulting benefits were used to analyze the impacts of pavement design factors (such as asphalt and concrete thickness and base drainage) on pavement performance. Further, the research team calculated and scrutinized the weighted average benefits of treatments applied to all pavement types in each climatic region.

To define the pavement deterioration curve with a reasonable level of certainty, all functional and structural data analyses were based on three or more time-series data points (all available data from the LTPP or State databases). The team found that the LTPP database contains fewer than three International Roughness Index (IRI) and/or distress data points over time for some of the LTPP test sections (see chapter 4 for details). Indeed, in several cases, only one data point had been collected between the applications of consecutive treatments. To increase the number of test sections that could be analyzed, the research team developed the following two procedures (see chapters 5 and 6):

During the study, the research team conducted two sets of analyses. In one set, the LTPP inventory and pavement condition and distress data from LTPP Standard Data Release 28.0 (2014) were used. Results of the analyses included RFP and RSP and the treatment benefits expressed in various terms. In the second set, the inventory and pavement condition and distress data that were measured along various pavement projects by three State transportation departments (CDOT, LADOTD, and WSDOT) were requested, received, reviewed for compatibility with the LTPP data, and analyzed. For each treated pavement project, the treatment benefits were calculated using the same parameters as those used for the LTPP data analyses. The team then compared the results of the analyses of the LTPP and State data. Chapter 8 details the objectives of the comparison, which included the following:

In this study, the measured pavement deflection data along flexible and rigid pavement test sections were also studied to determine whether pavement deflection could be used as an indicator of future conditions or surface distresses. Because the deflection data were measured at different times and temperatures, the data for flexible pavement test sections were adjusted to a standard temperature of 70 ºF (21 ºC) using the Asphalt Institute (AI) and other procedures. It was determined that existing procedures were not accurate. Therefore, a new global temperature correction procedure applicable to all deflections measured by the FWD sensors in the four climatic regions was developed (see chapter 7). The impact of this global procedure on the backcalculated layer moduli in flexible pavement was also assessed.

Chapter 9 summarizes the numerous conclusions the research team reached based on the results of the analyses. The following milestone conclusions were reached:

Based on the results of these analyses and the conclusions, the research team makes the following recommendations:



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