PAVEMENT ASSESSMENTS are the most cost-effective way to manage and maintain asphalt concrete (HMA) pavements. They prioritize preventative maintenance according to condition and treatment and project costs for this work over five, ten or more years.
A pavement assessment begins with an inventory of pavement at each site, the type and intended use, whether it’s a road, parking lot, playground, walkway or storage lot. Sites are then divided into areas, which are mapped, measured and recorded in a database that becomes the source for future condition ratings, treatment recommendations and cost projections.
Once inventoried, pavement condition at each site is visually evaluated for fatigue-related stresses from heavy wheel loads and environmental or age-related stresses due to water and sun oxidation. The goal is to identify problem areas before they deteriorate to a level requiring expensive rehabilitation or reconstruction, but it takes a trained eye to spot vulnerable areas.
Each assessed area is given a rating referred to as a Pavement Condition Index (PCI). A PCI is a numerical rating between 0 and 100 that identifies pavement condition. The lower the number, the poorer the pavement condition.
When entered into the inventory database with other weighted assessment information, a PCI helps prioritize treatments according to need, the year the treatment should be applied to maximize effectiveness and the cost of the treatment. All this information is then analyzed to develop a customized multi-year maintenance plan that allows clients to plan and budget for current and future pavement maintenance needs site by site. Because the recommendations are site-specific, a pavement assessment also is an excellent resource for accurately bidding pavement projects and monitoring the effectiveness of maintenance treatments provided by contractors.
In short, a pavement assessment provides all the necessary information to select the right maintenance treatments at the right time that will preserve and extend the life of any and all asphalt concrete pavements.