About the research
Many local highway agencies are transitioning from mostly new construction to primarily maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation of existing roadway networks. Highway engineers thus need to know the actual performance of their roadway systems, and different types of roadway rehabilitation methods to ultimately maximize the value of their investments on the roadway systems.
County engineers and their employees invest considerable effort towards managing and maintaining granular roads. These roads require continuous review and maintenance due to continuous and consistent changes experienced throughout their life span. However, to date there are no readily available tools to evaluate material costs versus field performance, nor for evaluation and optimization of operational strategy. The Iowa County Engineers Association Service Bureau (ICEASB) initially developed a preliminary Granular Road Management System (GRAMS) as a partial fulfilment of the mission of the Iowa Transportation Asset Management (ITAM) steering committee, which is to (a) find better ways to ‘tell the story’ about asset management needs, and (b) identify methods and procedures that could be adopted by road agencies. So, to complete the mission of the ITAM steering committee for granular roads in Iowa, the research team will develop a comprehensive Granular Road Asset Management System (GRAMS) based on the preliminary version. The comprehensive GRAMS will be able to assist county engineers in optimizing granular roadway construction and maintenance operations by developing a suite of tools and methods to support decisions associated with managing granular roads. A web-based version will also be developed to assess state-wide needs and facilitate the evaluation of trends over time.