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  • Writer's pictureJames Golden

Pavement Management 101

As a professional in the pavement maintenance and preservation industry for almost 25 years, I've connected with many public works directors and engineers, and it's become clear to me that the concept of pavement management needs to be better!

What is Pavement Management?

At its core, pavement management is a systematic approach to the annual maintenance and repair of a pavement network, including roadways, airfields, airport runways, trails, parking lots, and more. The key to pavement management is a systematic approach that maximizes budgetary dollars and identifies the right treatment to apply to the right pavement at the right time.

Why Condition Assessments Aren't Enough

While condition assessments are a part of pavement management, they are only part of the picture. More than simply simply simply identifying the condition of the pavement is required to create a comprehensive maintenance plan. Instead, a systematic approach that includes inventory, assessment, prioritization, and treatment selection is necessary to maximize available resources.

The Importance of a Systematic Approach

A systematic approach is critical to effective pavement management. This approach includes identifying the right treatment, applying it to the right pavement, and doing so at the right time. With a systematic approach, maximizing budgetary dollars and achieving the desired results is possible.

The Key Components of Pavement Management

Pavement management has four key components: inventory, assessment, prioritization, and treatment selection. Starting with an inventory of the pavement network, a condition assessment is conducted to identify areas needing repair. The next step is to prioritize repairs based on the criticality of the pavement section and the available budget. Finally, the appropriate treatment is selected for each pavement section, considering its condition, age, and expected service life.

Benefits of Pavement Management

A systematic pavement management approach can bring a range of benefits, including:

  1. Better allocation of resources: By prioritizing repairs based on need and available budget, pavement management allows for better use of taxpayer dollars.

  2. Improved safety: By proactively repairing pavement sections needing attention, pavement management helps prevent roadway accidents and injuries.

  3. Extended pavement life: By selecting the right treatment at the right time, pavement management can help extend our roadways' life, ultimately saving taxpayers money in the long run.

Pavement management is a critical part of maintaining safe and functional roadways. By taking a systematic approach that includes inventory, assessment, prioritization, and treatment selection, we can maximize taxpayer dollars, improve roadway conditions, and extend the life of our roadways. Let's not take the condition of our roadways for granted but instead invest in a proactive approach to pavement management.

Author: James Golden, Founder and CEO of Pavement Management Group

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