InTrans / Jan 26, 2022

Spreadsheet tool aids in pavement analysis

Interface of the Iowa Pavement Analysis Techniques (IPAT) Tool

Current pavement condition measurement tools don’t offer much-needed context for how long a roadway will remain in a particular condition or how its performance may change over time.

To provide that context, researchers at the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) developed a spreadsheet tool that can help local agencies to determine when preservation and/or rehabilitation are required for their agencies’ roadway sections.

The project led by principal investigator Halil Ceylan, director of InTrans’ Program for Sustainable Pavement Engineering and Research (PROSPER), developed the Iowa Pavement Analysis Techniques (IPAT) tool that can be used to estimate project- and network-level pavement performance and remaining service life or remaining service interval (RSL or RSI) for four pavement types.

“The developed tool and models will significantly assist county engineers in their decision-making processes,” Ceylan said. “Accurate RSL/RSI estimations can help facilitate maintenance and rehabilitation decisions to provide better prioritization and allocation of resources.”

To create the tool, the research team developed statistics- and artificial neural network (ANN)-based pavement performance and RSL/RSI models using pavement structural features, traffic, construction history, and pavement performance records obtained from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) and the Iowa county agencies’ database. The accuracy of models was evaluated using the real database representing Iowa county pavement systems.

The IPAT tool provides a series of options for four pavement types representing Iowa county pavement systems—jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP), asphalt concrete (AC) pavement, AC over JPCP, and portland cement concrete (PCC) overlay—to estimate RSL through different approaches based on various conditions and distress data availability from an individual county.

In addition, the project introduced and demonstrated the concept of developing an Iowa historical performance databank (HPD) by using raw data collected from county pavements, and the team investigated the feasibility of integrating preservation and rehabilitation techniques for RSL predictions using ANN models to evaluate the effects of treatments on the RSL of pavements.

“The IPAT tool developed in this study is a user-friendly tool that provides flexibility in launching different types of tools based on pavement type and data available from local agencies,” Ceylan said.

He added, “The statistics- and AI-based approaches have been successfully utilized to help estimate pavement performance and RSL/RSI in facilitating decision-making and managing county pavement systems.”

More information about the project, access to the tool, and a user guide are all available here.