Iowa Pavement Asset Management Decision-Making Framework

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Abdelaty, Ahmed
Jeong, H. David
Smadi, Omar
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Gransberg, Douglas
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Institute for Transportation
InTrans administers 14 centers and programs, and several other distinct research specialties, and a variety of technology transfer and professional education initiatives. More than 100 Iowa State University faculty and staff work at InTrans, and from 200 to 250 student assistants from several ISU departments conduct research while working closely with university faculty. InTrans began in 1983 as a technical assistance program for Iowa’s rural transportation agencies.
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Most local agencies in Iowa currently make their pavement treatment decisions based on their limited experience due primarily to lack of a systematic decision-making framework and a decision-aid tool. The lack of objective condition assessment data of agency pavements also contributes to this problem. This study developed a systematic pavement treatment selection framework for local agencies to assist them in selecting the most appropriate treatment and to help justify their maintenance and rehabilitation decisions. The framework is based on an extensive literature review of the various pavement treatment techniques in terms of their technical applicability and limitations, meaningful practices of neighboring states, and the results of a survey of local agencies. The treatment selection framework involves three different steps: pavement condition assessment, selection of technically feasible treatments using decision trees, and selection of the most appropriate treatment considering the return-on-investment (ROI) and other non-economic factors. An Excel-based spreadsheet tool that automates the treatment selection framework was also developed, along with a standalone user guide for the tool. The Pavement Treatment Selection Tool (PTST) for Local Agencies allows users to enter the severity and extent levels of existing distresses and then, recommends a set of technically feasible treatments. The tool also evaluates the ROI of each feasible treatment and, if necessary, it can also evaluate the non-economic value of each treatment option to help determine the most appropriate treatment for the pavement. It is expected that the framework and tool will help local agencies improve their pavement asset management practices significantly and make better economic and defensible decisions on pavement treatment selection.

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