Modern pavement management enables owners to be proactive in preserving the entire pavement network in good condition rather than letting the infrastructure degrade to the point of needing costly rehabilitation or reconstruction. The modern approach incorporates data and advanced analysis to support a more holistic infrastructure lifecycle management strategy—a proven method to increase the safety and longevity of assets while reducing maintenance costs.
This guidebook provides five keys to help city, county, and MPO leaders get the most value from infrastructure funds to manage streets, sidewalks and other local pavement assets. Using examples from successful agencies, this guide illustrates strategies to improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of your local pavement network.
The strategies outlined in this guide are designed to help you:
- Maximize the impact of infrastructure funding to manage and maintain local pavement assets
- Improve pavement data quality and analysis to make better decisions for capital programming, operating budgets, and staffing
- Leverage modern pavement management practices to improve the maintenance of your broader infrastructure network
5 Keys for Local Pavement Owners
Key #1: Modernize Your Pavement Management
Pavement assets—which may include highways, streets, sidewalks, curbside ramps, parking lots and more—are often the largest infrastructure investments a local government has to manage. That’s why an effective pavement management practice is an essential part of an infrastructure management strategy that relies on proper stewardship of public funds.
What Makes Pavement Management Modern?
Modern pavement management relies on robust data collection and advanced analytics to facilitate well-informed decisions about how best to plan, design, build, manage and maintain all the pavement assets in the network. In contrast to traditional approaches, a modern approach to pavement management breaks down information silos and leverages new technologies to connect complex datasets and workflows throughout the entire lifecycle of pavement assets.
In addition, a modern approach integrates pavement management into a holistic infrastructure management framework, coordinating the management of pavements, bridges and many other types of assets—from traffic signs and signals to stormwater structures, charging stations and more. This integrated approach helps infrastructure managers improve operational efficiency and save costs. It also increases the long-term performance and sustainability of all the infrastructure assets throughout their lifecycles. The end result is to deliver more value to the public in the form of safer, longer-lasting, and more affordable infrastructure.
Key #2: Elevate your Data Quality
Modern pavement management depends on high-quality data. However, many agencies don’t have up-to-date information about their assets. The following data challenges are common among local pavement owners:
- Incomplete asset inventory data
- Lack of data on pavement distress, surface characteristics, and structural capacity
- Lack of historical data on previous repairs and maintenance work
- Lack of usage data, such as average daily traffic (ADT)
To improve data quality, owners need to collect comprehensive pavement data and centralize it so it can be properly shared and analyzed.
Defining Data and Asset Standards
Before beginning your pavement data collection, you’ll need to define your data and asset standards. For example, does your project data-capture standard match your scanning and imaging data-capture standard? Many infrastructure owners are moving toward “universal” data-capture standards so they are able to capture assets in the same way on construction projects as for operations and maintenance.
Data Collection Technologies: Smarter and More Affordable
Today’s data-capture options span a wide array of technologies—from surveying and mapping to scanning and imaging. Selecting the right option may seem daunting, given the speed of innovation of these emerging tools. The “right” technologies for your projects may vary depending on the assets, accuracy and data outputs needed, as well as on your organization’s data standards and goals.