BACKGROUND: Pavement preservation provides a means for maintaining and improving the functional condition of an existing highway system and slowing deterioration. Although pavement preservation is not expected to substantially increase structural capacity, it can lead to improved pavement performance, longer service life, and reduced life-cycle costs. However, currently used measures for quantifying pavement performance do not appropriately account for the potential performance enhancement, life extension, and cost savings resulting from applying preservation treatments at the right time. For example, pavement smoothness (or roughness) which is measured by the International Roughness Index (IRI) and widely used by highway agencies is not a good measure of the effect of many preservation treatments.
There is a need to identify or develop pavement performance measures that consider the contributions of preservation to performance, service life, and life-cycle costs. Also, there is a need to prepare a guide document for AASHTO consideration and adoption to facilitate the implementation of these measures by state highway agencies. This information will ensure that the contributions of preservation to performance and service life are appropriately considered and help highway agencies better assess the benefits of preservation treatments and their role in maintaining the level of service of the highway system. Incorporating these measures in asset management systems would also provide a means for selecting the appropriate preservation treatments and optimizing the allocation of resources.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this research were to (1) identify and/or develop pavement performance measures that consider the contributions of preservation to performance, service life, and life-cycle costs and (2) prepare a guide document to facilitate implementation of these measures by state highway agencies. For the purpose of this research, preservation treatments are treatments applied to preserve an existing roadway, slow future deterioration, and maintain and improve its functional condition (without substantially increasing structural capacity).