Replacement of SDDOT’s Roadway Evaluation System

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) Office of Transportation Inventory Management operates a road and pavement evaluation system consisting of a vehicle equipped with roadway evaluation equipment and computers at the SDDOT central office to process data collected by the vehicle. This system acquires roadway and pavement images, pavement roughness, cracking, rutting, and faulting values. Data is used by the SDDOT for the Pavement Management System (PMS) and the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS). Profiles generated by the current profiler have been used for special projects such as SDDOT Rapid City Region’s milling projects. The number, length, and severity of cracks detected by the automatic crack detection system on the current profiler meet some, but not all the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements for reporting pavement cracking. The vehicle and corresponding equipment have now been in operation for five years. Because sensor technology has improved and the vehicle has over 162,000 miles on it, the SDDOT will need to replace it after the 2019 data collection year. A needs assessment will inform decisions regarding technical features to be included, functional requirements, and system specifications. New functionality such as adding lidar may cost-effectively support efforts to inventory and manage assets other than pavements. Once acquired, the roadway evaluation system will need to be validated through a defined testing process to ensure integrity of the data collection, operation, and technology. The objectives of this research are to: (1) identify SDDOT’s needs for a roadway evaluation system through assessments internal to the Department, reviews of similar equipment presently in use at other states and Canadian provinces, and appraisals of newly emerging equipment and technology; (2) develop a specification for an optimal roadway evaluation system configuration based on departmental needs and functional requirements and testing criteria that can be used to validate equipment performance before final acceptance; and (3) validate the roadway evaluation system performance to ensure compliance with specifications.