Pavement Management Data Analysis

We’re just finishing up on a couple of pavement re-inspection projects.  Project #1 was our 3rd re-inspection of the network and Project #2 was our second inspection of their network.  Both projects are located in the Rocky Mountain region of the US and have pretty harsh freeze/thaw cycles, particularly in the past couple of winters.  Our clients were mostly interested in how their network was performing over time as compared to our predictive models set up in their pavement management software.

The results are pretty interesting for Project #1 – as you can see, their network is deteriorating a lot faster these days based on a few harsh winter seasons.  The Bright Green lines show the distribution of their pavement in 2010 as compared to the 2008 (Yellow) and 2005 (Red) inspections.

These differences are directly attributable to the past 3 winter seasons and their impact on their pavement infrastructure.  This particular client plans on using this information to acquire additional funding for their pavement management program for the next few years to “catch up” with the maintenance on their network.  The following graphic displays the current condition distribution for this client for their most recent inspection in 2010.

Most pavement prediction models utilize performance curves to predict pavement performance over time.  These models hold true in the short-term, but can fluctuate based directly on weather events or other human factors such as changing traffic conditions.  In some cases, re-inspection is necessary to adjust these estimates so an agency can fund its capital improvement program effectively.  This was the specific intent of this client and there is no doubt why they are one of the premier places to live in because of their proactive asset management approach!


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Pavement Management for Cities/Counties

I just spent a great week in Klamath Falls, OR training their staff on pavement management techniques with our Engineer, Will Cook.  We deployed an asset management solution for their Pavement, Curb & Gutter, and Sign infrastructure.  We were able to determine the amount of funding necessary to keep their pavement network at steady-state and how fast it is deteriorating at their current funding levels.

Believe it or not, most agencies have no idea what they own, what it is worth, and how much funding they really need to maintain it at a specific level-of-service.

Inventory

It all begins with a Network-Level inventory of everything which gives us an idea of what they own.

Condition Assessment

Then, we need to know what its condition is.  We use this data to help prioritize assets for repair and rehabilitation.

Budgeting

Once the prioritization is complete, we apply budgeting scenarios to determine what gets fixed and when.  This leads into Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) development which evolves into an agency’s work program.

This discussion makes it all sounds easy, but at this point, it is imperative to have the local subject-matter-experts make real-world decisions on what to really do.  We’ll never rely completely on computer modeling to make these decisions, but they do help with a lot of the heavy lifting involved with managing large asset networks.

I will be posting a few articles next week detailing this process with some case studies of clients who I have worked with in the past…Stay tuned!