Maryland Identifies Right Fix for Right Road, Right Time

Pavement Preservation Journal, Spring, 2012

By Geoff Hall, P.E.

If the mantra of pavement preservation is the Right Fix, for the Right Road, at the Right Time, the question for pavement managers is “How does an agency identify the right fix, or treatment, or the right road, or the right time?”

More specifically, how does an agency identify when a pavement preservation treatment is appropriate?

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has identified an approach to help pavement engineers better manage surface distresses and appropriately integrate pavement preservation from a pavement management perspective.

It is well known among pavement engineers that preservation treatments are intended for structurally sound pavements: roads with distresses primarily limited to the surface. So, how do we identify and manage which of the thousands (if not millions) of pavement sections are structurally sound, especially in the era of automated data collection?

Agencies may collect ride quality, rutting and cracking data. A challenge those agencies have is to dissect these data to determine whether a pavement preservation treatment is appropriate, as readings showing poor pavement condition could be a result of either structural or surface (functional) distresses.

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