A Network-Level Decision Making Tool for Pavement Maintenance and User Safety
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Although inflation has raised the cost of paving, pavement program funding levels are about 30 percent lower than a decade ago. Resurfacing treatments typically last 10 to 20 years, but current pavement funding only allows for resurfacing every 30 years or longer. Therefore, higher user costs (mostly related to vehicle maintenance and fuel consumption) are expected to be observed as a result of increased pavement roughness. The goal of this study was to develop a network-level decision making tool (software) to suggest the most efficient maintenance and rehabilitation strategies by minimizing user and agency costs and maximizing their benefits. This study also investigated the use of a maximum roughness level of 5 m/km to increase user safety. The project also evaluated the effects of different trigger roughness levels (trigger IRIs) and different treatment methods (1. use of one value for trigger International Roughness Index (IRI) for all sections regardless of traffic levels, and 2. use of different trigger IRIs for sections on the basis of their traffic levels) on user benefits and agency costs. This study found the first method to be more optimal. In addition, results showed thatoptimal trigger IRI depends on the available budget level. Use of a lower value for trigger IRI requires a higher budget level and increases user benefits.