Virtual Solutions for Expediting Pavement Condition Inspections

According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, more than 90 percent of roads and highways in the United States are surfaced with asphalt. Many of these lane miles are heavily traveled and in need of rehabilitation. Franklin County, north of Atlanta, Georgia, contracted KCI to perform pavement condition assessments of their more than 250 miles of roadway and capture that data electronically for future use in maintenance, asset management and public relations.

Our construction management and asset management teams worked together to develop a custom application based on the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) existing Pavement Condition Evaluation System (PACES). GDOT uses PACES to rate the condition of surfaces throughout the state. The solution developed for the county leveraged two off-the-shelf mobile data collection tools, ArcGIS Collector and Survey 123, to cost-effectively deploy a user-friendly interface for field staff and customized dashboards for managing systemwide analytics on the condition of pavement.

Franklin County Pavement Condition Assessment
The operations dashboard allows users to track the number of pavement inspections, view the overall street ranking and individual street attributes including field photos and reports.

Franklin County provided KCI with a street network file of their roadways, which served as a base to establish the data. Using major intersections as starting and stopping points, streets were broken down into one-mile segments to be easily surveyed. Analysts used ArcGIS Online to manage the segments and produce web maps. Associated data, including the roadway name, number of lanes, length, and an identification number, was then downloaded into Collector. After selecting a segment on the map in Collector, users are directed to Survey 123 to enter observed field conditions. The back-end interface between the two applications allows the segment ID and length of roadway to be passed seamlessly from the map to a survey form.

This application helped our team expedite the physical inspection of each pavement section and then score the condition electronically in real time.

Jimmy WitherowSenior Construction Manager

Jimmy Witherow

The data collected is stored in a spreadsheet that is configured with branching so that if a user selects an attribute value for one field, additional associated fields become available. Calculations generate an overall rating based upon the percentage and severity level of each distress recorded.

Application Categories
To more vividly identify the ranges of overall ratings, categories were given associated colors to provide stakeholders with a quick visual expression of condition.

In the field, inspectors are equipped with a WiFi-enabled tablet that allows them to capture pavement condition information and sync that data in real-time to the cloud. This assessment can be accessed geospatially by clicking on the corresponding location on the map or via online dashboards that provide analysis tools.

Inspectors use a tablet to answer a series of questions that document the amount and severity of distress in the pavement.

This project laid the groundwork for other opportunities in asset management by creating a foundation that can be easily transitioned to other types of infrastructure. Its success has led the county to consider using the tool for the assessment and inventory of other assets such as pipes and signs.