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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Effects of Maintenance Treatments on Asphalt Concrete Pavement Management
Project Researcher: Katie Zimmerman, Applied Pavement Technologies
Project Manager: Daris Ormesher
Research Period: 3/12/2001 - 4/1/2002
Cost: $90,000.00

Problem Statement:South Dakotas Pavement Management System optimizes asphalt concrete surfaced highway segments to be placed in the five year Surface Transportation Improvement Program. Most projects require maintenance (chip seals, patching, crack sealing etc.) to keep them in a serviceable condition until they can be rehabilitated. The pavement management system does not adequately represent the effect maintenance activities have on highway segments and is unable to properly optimize asphalt concrete pavement rehabilitation. Believed causes for this are:

  • visual distress rating methods of the annual condition survey,

  • effects maintenance activities have on the distress indexes,

  • variable timing/triggering of maintenance activities from Area to Area,

  • lack of reporting some maintenance activities to the pavement management system.

  • The benefits maintenance activities have on highway segments and how they should be represented in a pavement management system is not quantitatively known. In order for a pavement management system to properly optimize rehabilitation strategies it must consider the following effects that maintenance treatments have on a pavement: timing of application, cost, and expected life. Without these benefits the pavement management system can recommend inappropriate treatments, or show pavements as being improved and possibly never allow them to be programmed.

    Decisions concerning programming maintenance are normally done at the Region and Area level within the South Dakota Department of Transportation. These decisions are not always included in departments pavement management system. The timing of applying these maintenance treatments varies from Area to Area within the department. These unknowns make it difficult for the pavement management system to develop the recommendations for new projects for the construction and rehabilitation program and suggest when a segment has the potential to be included into a program.

    Research is necessary to find the most cost effective maintenance treatment life-cycle of the existing AC pavement types that considers the effects of when maintenance activities such as chip seals, patching, and crack sealing are applied.


    Research Objectives:
    1  To include chipseals, patching and crack sealing as treatments to be triggered in South Dakota Department of Transportation’s pavement management system.
    2  To improve methods to evaluate applied maintenance treatments during the annual condition survey.
    3  Recommend procedures for coordinating decisions made through the formal construction program and annual maintenance programming.

    Research Tasks:
    1  Review and summarize literature relevant to incorporation of maintenance treatments (chipseals, patches and crack sealing) within a pavement management system.
    2  Meet with the Technical Panel to review project scope and work plan.
    3  Interview South Dakota Department of Transportation personnel from the central office and 12 field offices involved with the programming of rehabilitation and maintenance of asphalt concrete pavements to detail how maintenance and rehabilitation deci
    4  Develop a method for incorporating the effects on pavement performance following application of a chipseal, patch or crack sealing for each pavement family based on historical data.
    5  Define trigger limits that describe when a maintenance treatments are likely to be applied.
    6  Determine the effects of maintenance treatments on existing families of pavement performance curves and/or treatment resets.
    7  Investigate methods used by the visual distress survey and recommend necessary changes to the collection of the data.
    8  Develop procedures for coordinating decisions and exchanging information with the formal construction program and maintenance programming.
    9  Produce detailed guidelines to change appropriate sections of South Dakota Department of Transportation’s Pavement Management System.
    10  Prepare materials and conduct a train-the-trainer course to the Technical Panel & Pavement Management staff on the overview of the pavement management system with an emphasis on the effect of adding maintenance treatments to the pavement management s
    11  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
    12  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

    Documents Available:
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