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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Statistical Methods for Pavement Performance Curve Building, Historical Analysis, Data Sampling and Storage
Project Researcher: Katie Zimmerman, Applied Pavement Technologies
Project Manager: Blair Lunde
Research Period: 5/1/1997 - 7/31/1998
Cost: $50,000.00

Problem Statement: In 1994, the South Dakota Department of Transportation developed an enhanced pavement management system. Families of pavement performance curves for ten pavement types and up to seven different distress types (for an approximate total of sixty different curves) were based on expert opinion because historical data was not available. A recommendation of that study (SD93-14) was to update the curves using historical data once sufficient data had been collected. Historically based pavement performance curves should improve the reliability of performance prediction, which should in turn improve the optimization of the construction program. The Department needs guidance in developing and updating historically based pavement performance curves, as well as advice on the form and amount of data that must be retained for pavement performance curve building and historical analysis.

Research is needed to determine the form and amount of historical data necessary to perform historical functions such as analyzing factors that affect pavement condition and life, generating pavement performance curves, analyzing long-term segment performance, life cycle cost analysis, identifying the most cost-effective designs and maintenance practices, etc. Statistical sampling methods may permit more efficient operations while maintaining accuracy. It would be useful to have a skilled statistician and a pavement engineer develop the appropriate statistical tests, sampling methods and data storage procedures to meet the Department's needs for historical analysis. This needs to be carefully studied so that the data gathered and stored and the analysis methods used can track the progress of pavements throughout their long lives. The procedures proposed by this study must be understandable and executable by staff with a limited statistical background.


Research Objectives:
1  To develop guidelines for summarizing and condensing historical data for curve building, segment performance analysis, life cycle analysis, identifying the most cost-effective designs and maintenance practices, etc., while providing results essential
2  To provide guidelines for generation of updated pavement performance curves for use by SDDOT.
3  To provide updated pavement performance curves using SDDOT data recommended in research objective one.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Review literature, SDDOT pavement distress data, pavement management system process and pavement performance curves.
3  Recommend statistical and operational procedures and guidelines to determine the amount and type of historical data to be retained.
4  Recommend a set of operational procedures and guidelines using statistical processes to prepare the pavement performance curves.
5  Recommend an existing statistical software package or create software to assist in implementing the data analysis, storage and performance curve procedures proposed. The software must be compatible with existing SDDOT information systems.
6  Test and calibrate the statistical process(es) proposed using the software and SDDOT data.
7  Generate the necessary data to retain and update the SDDOT family of pavement performance curves.
8  Prepare a technical memorandum detailing the procedures used and illustrate the results with examples from SDDOT data. Meet with the Technical Panel to demonstrate the procedures.
9  Based upon the demonstration and the Technical Panel's approval, train staff in the recommended guidelines and procedures.
10  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, potential cost savings, research methodology, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
11  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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