About the research
When asset management is applied to the Iowa Department of Transportation pavement network, the agency will turn away from a “worst first” approach in order to make investments in pavements that are in better condition where preventative maintenance can better extend the life of a pavement. The result will be improved average pavement conditions at the network level for less investment, an advantage that makes the asset management approach attractive. However, the Iowa DOT now has the challenge of developing a holding strategy to maintain low-volume roads that are in poor condition beyond pavement preservation and resources are often not available for complete rehabilitation. Many of these roads are composite pavements that have reflective cracks in the asphalt pavement surfaces, can develop rutting over time, and have underlying PCC pavement distresses projecting through the asphalt pavement layer reducing ride quality. Although delaying and limiting major investments on such roads is important to the success of an asset management program, the challenges of dealing with the resulting deteriorated roads are focused on the citizens who use the roads regularly and the employees who must maintain them. It is necessary to identify holding strategies that can be used to keep these roads in an acceptable and safe condition for a modest investment. Success in this area is critical to the success of an asset management program, because stakeholder dissatisfaction with roads in poor condition that are not selected for preservation, rehabilitation or rebuilding can be a major impediment to the successful startup of an asset management program.
Under this proposed investigation, research assistance will be provided for a pilot project to use holding strategies to extend the life of a relatively low-volume state route with the goal of providing a safe and adequate solution that will not divert investments to preservation projects.
Ultimately, the objective of the proposed research is to assist the Iowa DOT in developing strategies for maintaining these lower volume highways that are near the end of their service life to a satisfactory level in order to delay the larger expense of rehabilitating or reconstructing them.