Use of Performance Metrics on The Pennsylvania Turnpike


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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission opened the first 169 mile (270 km) portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Carlisle, PA, and Irwin, PA, on October 1, 1940, making it the first Super Highway in the United States. Since that time the Commission has been dedicated to providing their users with a first class driving experience. As a part of the Turnpike's reconstruction and capacity expansion efforts, the Commission wants to ensure that their pavements continue to meet the goals for safety and user comfort. In 2007 the Commission contracted for an annual evaluation program for its 550 centerline mile (880 km) pavement network. In this program, the performance of the Turnpike system is evaluated on a 0.1-mile (160 m) interval basis in the travel lane for each travel direction. The specific performance metrics are designed to ensure a safe, comfortable experience for the Turnpike's users. These metrics are: - Ride Quality -- International Roughness Index, ASTM E-950 and E-1926 - Rutting -- Rut depths, PennDOT Publication #336 - Skid Resistance -- Friction Number, ASTM E-274 using both ribbed (E-501) and smooth (E-524) tires. The Turnpike compares the results of the annual evaluations to the established performance metrics to ensure their patrons are receiving an enhanced driving experience. Performance comparisons are also used to identify areas needing improvement, to program projects for remediation, and to address unsafe conditions. This paper discusses how the annual monitoring program and its results are used to meet the high performance goals of the Turnpike and adequately distribute the available maintenance and repair funds to the proper projects.




Wilke, P. W., & Hatalowich, P. (2015, June). Use of performance metrics on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Managing Pavement Assets, Alexandria, VA. Presentation retrieved from