Quantifying the Benefits of Good Pavement Asset Management
Hudson, W. Ronald
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In the 1970s it became clear that pavements could not actually be designed for 30-50 year life; and that they had to be managed. It was found necessary to consider construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and even reconstruction in the life of pavements, not just a design. The concept of pavement management was thus born. The authors have jointly about 8 decades of experience in pavement management, and, with others have seen many agencies and engineers realize the qualitative benefits of pavement management. As a result some states, provinces, counties, and cities have adopted PMS but many others have been reticent because we could not quantitatively show them the benefits of changing the way they do business. Defining benefit is required for pavement and asset management. Otherwise, agencies can feel they are doing a good job because they had done it that way for many years. In the last few years enough research and data collection have been done on active PMS programs to quantify the benefits of pavement management systems and to be able to calculate the benefit/cost ratios and/or the return on investments. In turn, this enables agencies to save large sums of public funds by adopting pavement management. This paper presents the results of 20 years of evaluations of PMS in several active agencies. It shows the benefit/cost ratios to range from $5 to $20 million for each $1 million spent on the pavement management process in their agency.