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SWUTC Research Project Description

Develop a Pavement Project Evaluation Index to Support the 4-Year Pavement Management Plan

University: Texas A&M University

Principal Investigator:
Nasir Gharaibeh
Texas Transportation Institute
(979) 845-3362

Funding Source: SPR Program

Total Project Cost: $162,543

Project Number: 0-6683

Date Started: 9/1/12

Estimated Completion Date: 8/31/13

Project Summary

Project Abstract:
Each district of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is required to develop a 4-year pavement management plan.  These plans are reviewed by the 4-Year Pavement Management Task Force and the department’s administration.  Currently, varying forms of ranking indices and weights are used to develop these plans.  These indices consider factors such as traffic volume, Skid Number, treatment history, and pavement surface conditions.  The objective of this study is to develop a consistent and sound decision-support methodology that can be used by TxDOT to prioritize and rank pavement projects for the 4-Year Pavement Management Plan.  This methodology is essential for developing a cost-effective and defensible multi-year pavement management plan for TxDOT.

Project Objectives:

This objective will be accomplished through a practical work plan that consists of five tasks:  1) review and summarize current and best practices, 2) identify and evaluate key decision factors for pavement project prioritization, 3) develop project prioritization and ranking methodology, 4) validate methodology based on comparisons of actual vs. planned vs. recommended projects, and 5) close out the research project.

Task Descriptions:

Task 1:  Review and Summarize Current and Best Practices

Task 2:  Identify and Evaluate Key Decision Factors for Pavement Project Prioritization

Task 3:  Develop Project Prioritization and Ranking Methodology

Task 4:  Validate Methodology Based on Comparisons of Actual vs. Planned vs. Recommended Projects

Task 5:   Reports Preparation

Implementation of Research Outcomes:
This research developed a methodology for forming and prioritizing pavement maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) projects.  Key components of this methodology are:

  • Methods for grouping data collection sections into pavement management sections (potential M&R projects).
  • Pavement performance prediction models.
  • Methods for measuring performance benefits and life-cycle costs of alternative M&R types and projects.
  • A method for prioritizing competing M&R projects using an incremental benefits-cost analysis.
  • Analysis of the impact of funding scenarios on network condition throughout the planning period.

Projects are prioritized considering multiple factors that are deemed important by TxDOT’s districts. These factors and their importance weights were identified using a web-based survey of TxDOT’s districts. The methodology was tested and validated for Bryan, Fort Worth, and Lubbock Districts. The results highlight the potential of the developed methodology to improve pavement management planning by incorporating district priorities, producing cost-effective pavement management plans, and providing insights into the impact of these plans on the network condition.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation:
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) can use this methodology to generate defensible and cost-effective 4-year pavement management plans (PMPs). The developed methodology was implemented in a web-based software tool for evaluation by TxDOT personnel. This tool can potentially be used in the future by TxDOT to generate 4-year PMPs for individual districts and the statewide network.

Web Links:
Final Technical Report