Life Cycle Planning for Pavements
A highway network consists of pavements at different phases of serviceability, and addressing the network’s needs requires both current pavement condition data to identify the amount and severity of deterioration present, as well as the ability to forecast how those conditions will change over time. LCP is based on a network-level analysis that considers both economic and engineering factors to determine the most cost-effective strategies to achieve desired pavement conditions. This How-to guide provides an overview of a process agencies can follow to carry out an LCP analysis for its pavement assets.
Define Subsets of Network for Analysis
Define the various subsets of the pavement network that you will be analyzing. For example, an agency might analyze Interstates separately from the rest of the National Highway System (NHS), especially if the typical treatment strategies differ.
Establish Treatment Rules and Costs
Establish treatment rules and costs for a variety of treatment options that cover pavement needs over the life of the asset. In addition to setting up treatment rules for the types of treatments the agency normally uses, it may be useful to establish a set of rules that favor an aggressive series of preservation treatments to determine whether that strategy would result in better conditions at a lower cost.
Input Analysis Parameters
Input the analysis parameters, including the length of the analysis period, the treatment rules, and the estimated funding to be used, into the pavement management system. The analysis period should be at least 10 years, but may be longer to evaluate long-term impacts.
Run Analysis and Evaluate Effectiveness
Run the analysis and evaluate the effectiveness of the various treatment strategies established during step 2. The analysis is likely to show that strategies that include preventive maintenance treatments that keep pavements in good condition will result in better long-term conditions than strategies that include only rehabilitation or reconstruction activities when the same budget is applied to each strategy. Alternatively, the pavement management analysis could be used to show that a preservation strategy can achieve the same network conditions as a more traditional rehabilitation strategy for a lower cost.
Summarize the results of the analysis and provide the recommended strategy for each network subset for use in developing the financial plan and investment strategies for your TAMP.