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In a recent mandate issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), State Highway Agencies were required to have operational Pavement Management Systems by January 1993. The objectives of this mandate included the development of objective decision processes which would determine the cost-effectiveness of various rehabilitation strategies in order to evaluate their impact on the overall condition of the State's pavement network. In 1989, the State of North Dakota hired a consultant to assist them with the development of analytical software which would utilize their extensive pavement database and satisfy the requirements of the FHWA mandate.
There were two important features to the North Dakota System development. The first involves the DOT's use of an active Steering Committee, or User's Group, made up of individuals from throughout the organization. The group was intimately involved with the system development through the use of subcommittees who participated in all aspects of the system development. The group was very influential in ensuring the successful implementation of the system by addressing the “Institutional Issues” which play a large role in the system's overall success within the organization. This served to increase the committee's commitment to the project as well as begin to familiarize the organization with the system in a gradual manner.
The second important characteristic of the North Dakota implementation was the State's decision to provide an opportunity for the cities and counties within the State to initiate their own pavement management implementations through a “piggy-back” arrangement with the DOT. For a minimal fee, local jurisdictions were invited to participate in the pavement management program and implement a more limited version of the State's system within their organization. Each participating jurisdiction was thoroughly trained on sectioning and data collection procedures, data entry, and data analysis. Following completion of the training session, the jurisdictions received a complete system which was completely compatible with the State system, easily facilitating the exchange of information between the two agencies.
Pavement Management Systems (PMS), PMS implementation, system development, performance prediction, rehabilitation scheduling, strategy selection, FHWA
President, ERES Consultants, Inc., Savoy, IL