There has been significant work done on performance based
data needs for pavement management decision making driven by maintenance and
rehabilitation (M&R) treatment strategies, both at the project and network
levels. However, there are different
kinds of pavement management decision making for different types of
transportation agencies. For example, the data needs for state departments of
transportation (DOTs) may be different from the data needs for local agencies
such as metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), counties and cities. The
data needs for fund allocation, prioritization and ranking in a network level
are different from the data needs in a strategy driven project level. Furthermore
there has been little research on the data needs for including preventive pavement
preservation strategies in current pavement management systems.
The performance metrics for pavement conditions on non-state
National Highway System proposed by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) have further exacerbated the
problem. Recognizing that the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is
the only nationally available data set, it is understandable that FHWA chose
the performance metrics from HPMS. However, the metrics proposed at best are suitable
for DOTs, but not for local agencies. Specifically, the most controversial
metric is the International Roughness Index (IRI). Data needs on IRI are not widely understood
and used in local agencies nationally. Local agencies in California, Florida,
Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Washington, to name a few, do
not collect IRI for their local pavement management programs. Instead, Pavement
Condition Index (PCI), that is based on the ASTM D6433, Pavement Surface
Condition (PSC), which can be easily converted into PCI, Remaining Service Life
(RSL), and PASER rating, are the most widely used condition indexes. They use
these indexes to proactively manage pavement and make pavement investment
decisions. The additional financial burden to collect IRI data is estimated to exceed
$30 million in annual expenditures for local agencies, which is cost
prohibitive due to the fact that the local agencies are already lacking funding
to meet their road maintenance needs.
Hence a more flexible pavement condition performance reporting
that will allow local agencies to report good/poor conditions based on their
pavement management system is needed. Guidance should be developed to assist FHWA
in translating different condition indexes into Good and Poor conditions.
RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENT
This research “Developing
Data Needs for Pavement Management Decision Making for Local Agencies to Meet
National Performance Measures” is critical, as the pavement community
understands the need for distinguishing the performance targets of
transportation agencies at different levels of government, but is not clear on
the data needs, especially the minimum data needs for pavement management
decision making in these agencies. One
example of this conundrum is the measurement of international roughness index
or IRI. The IRI is generally needed for a state DOT PMS and can be reliably
measured at highway speeds. However, IRI may not be a good index for pavement
condition at a local agency for three reasons: firstly the reactive nature of
IRI measurement is not suitable for proactive preventive maintenance; secondly
the local agencies are not concerned with roughness since the travel speeds in
local streets in urban environments are normally lower than major highways;
thirdly, the stop and go traffic in local streets and inherited characteristics
of pavement with grade breaks, utility boxes, intersections, making IRI data unreliable.
On the other hand, there have been data quality issues in terms of
repeatability, accuracy, and reliability in the acquisitions of pavement
distress data used in pavement management.
Have you ever purchased a vacuum cleaner with bells and whistles but
ultimately realized that all is needed is a vacuum cleaner with a strong suction?
The same principle applies to local agencies in implementing and maintaining a
PMS. The final product from this research will provide tremendous cost savings
for local agencies in PMS implementation, data collection, and more
importantly, being able to take actions in preserving existing pavement asset.
Nationally, FHWA will have consistent, defensible, and credible performance
measures that meet the MAP-21 requirements with ultimate pavement investment
decisions coming from the ground up.
Task 1. Through a thorough literature review, identify the various data types currently being used in network level PMS by different agencies (state DOT’s, MPO’s, counties and cities).
Task 2. Conduct a nationwide survey of state DOT’s, MPO’s, counties and cities to identify the data types, data quality and data management practices being used for PMS and data reporting efforts.
Task 3. Identify the minimum data needs for PMS decision support modeling at the local agency level to include preventive maintenance, as well as M&R recommendations into the PMS.
Task 4. Identify the quality control/quality assurance methods utilized for PMS data and develop standards for data variability and reliability associated with MAP-21 reporting.
Task 5. Develop standard guidelines for the conversion and reporting of minimum levels of PMS data from the local agencies to meet the MAP-21 reporting requirements.