The National Academies

NCHRP 01-57B [Active]

Validating Proposed Definitions for Comparable Pavement Cracking Data

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Staff Responsibility: Roberto Barcena
Research Agency: Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Principal Investigator: James Tsai
Effective Date: 4/12/2023
Completion Date: 4/10/2026
Comments: Research in progress.


NCHRP Web-Only Document 288: Standard Definitions for Common Types of Pavement Cracking proposed a set of discrete definitions for common cracking types in asphalt- and concrete-surfaced pavements. The definitions classify cracks based on information extracted from images collected by highway-speed data collection vehicles, including feature orientation, length, width, location, and other relevant factors. These definitions are intended to harmonize and facilitate comparable measurement and interpretation of pavement cracking across the highway community.

Research is needed to validate the proposed definitions and develop a practice in AASHTO format for their use by highway agencies.



The objectives of this research are to (1) validate the proposed definitions developed in NCHRP Web-Only Document 288 for cracking in asphalt- and concrete-surfaced pavements, (2) suggest any needed refinements, adjustments, and/or additions to the  proposed definitions, and (3) develop draft language for consideration by AASHTO to incorporate the research findings in AASHTO R 85, Standard Practice for Quantifying Cracks in Asphalt Pavement Surfaces from Collected Pavement Images Utilizing Automated Methods, in a format specified by the AASHTO Committee on Materials and Pavements.

In this research, the term “validate” encompasses the following aspects of the proposed definitions at a minimum:

·    Their feasibility, i.e., can the defined procedures be accomplished with available state department of transportation (DOT) resources.

·    The comparability of measurements generated using the proposed definitions, including their accuracy, precision, and resolution.

·    Their utility, i.e., can the information support decisions DOTs must make at the network and project levels.

·    Their sensitivity to the image characteristics.

·    Their applicability to external data reporting requirements.

·    Comparison of their measurements to ground referencing.

·    Their comparison with traditional pavement cracking definitions.

·    Size of their proposed grid, crack orientation, and width thresholds.

·    Their identification or exclusion of potholes and other non-cracking features.

STATUS: Research in progress.

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