Integration and Deployment of Novel Tools for Rapid Assessment of Pavement Conditions and Remaining Life

Project Details









Denise Dunn, Garrett Dorsett, Tom Scullion


Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Climate change, Condition surveys, Data analysis, Falling weight deflectometers, Ground penetrating radar, Pavement management systems, Service life



Project description

Extreme heat events from climate change are expected to expose pavements to more intense and prolonged stress. These events, coupled with soil movement from heavy rainfall and drought are also expected to threaten their functional and structural life. State and local agencies have benefited from innovative technologies and tools developed to rapidly assess pavement conditions, but data has not yet been widely implemented into pavement management systems that provide cohesive and holistic assessments of state roadways. A hybrid approach combining traffic speed deflectometer (TSD) and air-coupled ground penetrating radar (GPR) data is proposed that will allow for large-scale data collection and analysis for use in state-level pavement management systems. In this study, researchers will coordinate with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) district offices to collect TSD and GPR data from roadways that are representative of different structural and functional conditions. The research team will work with the TxDOT districts to identify project sections of interest for closer evaluation. These sections may need maintenance or structural repair, have been recently constructed, or be in good condition. Collected data may be used to assist the district in pavement management activities and/or assess district priorities. In addition, Oklahoma recently collected TSD data from about 250 miles of interstate pavements. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) team will conduct GPR and fast-falling weight deflectometer (FFWD) testing at locations of interest identified by the Oklahoma team, based on the analysis of the collected TSD data. The TTI team may then assist in data analysis and relay the collected data to the Oklahoma team. Furthermore, the research team will develop a program for TxDOT to integrate the collected TSD and GPR data within a widely used existing program to analyze GPR data. This will allow the participating districts to gain a more holistic understanding of pavement structural data and better understand the impact of structural anomalies/deficiencies on functional pavement metrics. Increased understanding from this project will lead to more informed decisions within pavement management decision trees. In addition, researchers will utilize the collected data, along with new and existing mechanics-based modeling tools to develop a process for prediction of pavement structural condition and prediction of remaining life that will aid in pavement management decisions. Researchers may utilize AI/ML-based tools to optimize the proposed process. The results may be shared with local state and government agencies for verification and development of maintenance/repair strategies, should they be necessary. The findings will assist in incorporating resiliency within pavement management programs by producing accurate pavement structural data and remaining life estimations, with consideration of increasingly harsh environmental conditions due to accelerated climate change and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.