The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 52-07 [Active (Synthesis)]

Use of Pavement Data Collection Technology for Pavement Data Quality Management and MAP-21 Reporting
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Melissa Welch-Ross
Research Agency: Nichols Consulting Engineers
Principal Investigator: Linda Pierce
Fiscal Year: 2021

Final Scope

Pavement data collection technology has been evolving over the past few decades, and increasingly so in recent years. Automated pavement data collection allows agencies to collect data on pavement health at highway speeds, including cracking, rutting, faulting, and roughness. This provides important information to better pavement decision making.

MAP-21 and successive federal legislation requires state departments of transportation (DOTs) to report pavement data at a 0.10-mile interval and establish pavement performance targets. Many state transportation agencies have switched from manual pavement distress survey methods to automated/semi-automated pavement data collection. While agencies gain more data, knowledge, and experience with automated/semi-automated pavement data collection, this migration also brings new challenges. Those challenges include data quality control, data analysis, and decision making, in large part due to the rapidly evolving pavement data collection technology.

Per NCHRP 531, manual condition surveys are conducted by walking or traveling at a slow speed and noting the existing surface distress. Manual surveys may be limited to selected roadway segments (i.e., samples) or span the entire lane area (i.e., 100% survey). Automated condition surveys are conducted using specifically designed vehicles to obtain images and profile data (e.g., IRI, rut depth, faulting) in a single pass at posted speeds. Surface distresses are determined from downward pavement images and post-processed using either semi-automated or fully automated methods.

The objective of this synthesis is to document the experiences, challenges, and state-of-thepractice solutions used by DOTs that are in the midst of transition or that have transitioned to automated/semi-automated pavement data collection processes and summarizing the data for state and federal reporting requirements (e.g., TAMP, MAP-21).

Information gathered includes (but is not limited to):


     • Types of data collected using automated methods
     • The certification, verification, and audit process of manual and automated/semiautomated technology used by DOTs  
          o The compatibility of automated data with historical data (i.e., definitions and measurements used previously (e.g., for cracking, rutting) versus definitions used with automation
          o Impact of quality of distress measurement data on calculation of performance measures
     • The challenges in transitioning condition indices used in visual surveys when utilizing automated data for decision-making
          o Different levels of detailed distress data used to establish pavement performance target
     • Methods of analyzing data for MAP-21 reporting (e.g., a separate analysis algorithm, a transfer function)
     • Who collects the data
     • Cost factors (e.g., data storage, surveying equipment, service providers, software)

Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
     • FHWA Final Rule for Pavements and Bridges; https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/18/2017-00550/nationalperformance-management-measures-assessing-pavement-condition-for-the-nationalhighway
     • All 52 state DOT pavement managers (suggest contacting FHWA Resource Centers or FHWA Field Offices for contacts of state DOT pavement managers; https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/about/field.cfm.
     • All 52 state DOT asset management contacts; https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/asstmgmt/amcontacts.
     • FHWA Guidance on Development and Approval of State Data Quality Management Programs, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/management/pubs/dqmp.pdf.
     • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. Automated Pavement Condition Surveys. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25513. file:///C:/Users/mwelch-ross/Downloads/25513.pdf


TRB Staff
Melissa Welch-Ross
Phone: 703-867-4716
Email: mwelch-ross@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: November 2, 2020 (Virtual Meeting)
Teleconference with Consultant: December 7, 2020, 2:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern
Second Panel: July 20, 2020

Topic Panel
Ryan Barrett, Kansas Department of Transportation
Mark Gardner, Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.
Charles Holzschuher, Florida Department of Transportation
Maddalena Romano, New York City Department of Transportation
Xiang Shu, California Department of Transportation
Linbing Wang, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Andy Mergenmeier, Federal Highway Administration
Stephen Maher, Transportation Research Board




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