About Pavement Analyst

Pavement Analyst is designed to assist decision-makers in the process of managing a network of pavements. It stores, retrieves, and processes pavement-related condition and inventory data, allowing you to analyze the current condition, future performance, and expected monetary needs of the pavement network.

This is an overview of the main features of the system and the layout of the software.

The system divides the pavement management functions into three menus:

  • Set-Up: The functions contained in the Set-Up menu establishes parameters for the way the software calculates or uses raw data contained in the database. These parameters are defined by your agency to control the way data is combined, calculated, and used for the analysis functions contained in the Analysis module.
  • Database: The Database menu consists of a fully functional database management system that contains all the pavement management data collected by your agency. This data is related to pavement inventory, pavement condition and performance, pavement structures and maintenance, rehabilitation reconstruction activities, traffic and other data configured for your agency.
  • Analysis: The Analysis menu contains the functions used to analyze pavement performance as well as estimate current and future pavement work needs. The analysis portion of the software uses the parameters specified in the Set-up portion and the data contained in the Database portion to make these estimates.

The system uses three basic types of data for pavement management:

  • Inventory: defines the basic attributes of the pavement network, including the extent of the network, its location referencing, and other attributes of each section in the network. This allows the software to use information such as functional classifications, traffic levels, environmental zones, and other information that may be useful for pavement management analyses.
  • Construction History: defines the pavement structures that exist on each pavement section. Using this information, the software can analyze performance and assign appropriate maintenance and rehabilitation treatments for planning and network analysis.
  • Condition: defines the pavement condition of your network. The software uses pavement condition for performance modeling, reporting, decision-making, and prioritization of candidate projects based upon the decision-making parameters.

The system combines these three data types into master files for analysis within the system:

  • Network Master File: contains the most current information from all three data types for every section in the network. This file is the starting point for future condition prediction and network planning analyses within the system. You can also produce reports with current information from this file.
  • Performance Master File: contains a historical record of pavement network information. The performance master file is primarily used for performance analysis of pavements. Using historical information, the software is able to estimate deterioration equations for the pavements in the network, which allows you to predict future pavement condition for planning analysis. In addition, the performance master file can be used to produce reports showing historical trends in condition, traffic, or other information as needed.

Using Pavement Analyst involves three major steps:

  1. Filling raw data tables with data collected from the pavement network. These tables are filled by direct data entry, using import routine(s), or a combination of these two. The system contains utilities for converting this data into calculated results that can be analyzed by the system. These calculated results are displayed in the distress and performance indices windows, pavement structure tables and graphs, and the traffic window. The system includes windows (such as the Pavement Structure window) and functions to view this data in convenient formats.
  2. Processing raw data and storing results in the performance and network master files and other derived data tables. This step uses the performance set-up parameters combined with raw data and the database calculated results from the first step to create two master files: one for performance analysis and the other for network analysis.
  3. Analyzing the data contained in the performance and network master files to produce reports and document the analyses.

Using Pavement Analyst

Filling Data Tables and Preparing Calculated Results

Once raw data is recorded in the database, you convert it (according to database set-up parameters) to create calculated results that can be used later in reporting as well as performance and network analysis. The Database menu typically provides at least the following calculated results:

  • Distress Survey – Pavement performance per distress survey interval according to the distress index score. A window is available that combines all major pavement types as well as roughness (if kept separately from the standard distress survey data).
  • Pavement Structure – Pavement construction history along a pavement management section and over time to the last reconstruction. The results are shown in tabular form (pavement structure table) and in graphical form (pavement structure graph).

The following configuration steps are taken for calculated tables:

  • Define in which Oracle table each calculated item will reside. As a prerequisite for performing network analysis, define the Network Master table contents, and as a prerequisite for performing performance analysis, define the Performance Master table contents.
  • Define for each calculated item the calculation/aggregation formula and the order in which calculations are to take place.
  • Define the method by which section limits are produced.
  • Define the data review window for each table and where it'll be located in the system.
  • Define whether the data in each table can be graphed down the road and will be available in the Road View window.

Creating the Performance and Network Master Files

Once you have filled the database with the latest available raw data and calculated the distress survey, you are now ready to begin making the performance and network master files. These files are composed of fields that are calculated using performance set-up parameters, raw data, and data aggregation techniques as described in the previous step and in the technical manual. The first step in making the performance and network master files is to specify or adjust the parameters in the construction set-up menus.

The set-up parameters for performance analysis are:

  • Road structure categories, which define the general categories of pavement structures in the network according to the maintenance and rehabilitation actions.
  • Work codes, which define the work for a construction contract and assign a road structure category to the work.

Performance Analysis

The first step in performing analyses is to create the latest year's performance master file and re-calculate the performance master file as needed. Once the performance master file is filled, performance models can be reviewed and adjusted from the historical data supplemented with the latest year's information.

Models can be developed using two methods:

  • The first method, building manual pavement performance models, allows you to define expected pavement performance curves using your engineering judgment and experience.
  • The second method is to create pavement performance models in the performance analysis module based on historical data contained in the performance master file.

Once models are developed for all possible groupings, each model can be reviewed individually and adjusted as necessary. Models can be assigned by groups of sections or by individual sections.

After performance models have been created in the performance analysis module, you can view the predicted pavement management performance section assuming that no treatments were performed on the section. This estimation of a section's performance is available from the section performance menu selection under performance analysis. From the performance window, you can graphically display individual pavement section performance.

Network Analysis

After you have completed developing the performance master and developing/reviewing pavement performance models, you are ready to perform network analysis. Network analysis is controlled through the network set-up menu where your agency establishes decision trees and available treatments. It also controlled via the Utilities menu in the System module, where your agency establishes priority formulae and sets parameters that affect the roadway simulation due to future treatment. The network analysis module allows you to run various scenarios to investigate the impact of different budget levels on your network condition or to estimate budgets necessary to attain a given condition level.

Additional Information

For additional information, see the following topics:

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