Assessment of use of automated distress survey methods for network-level pavement management

B. S. Underwood, Y. R. Kim, J. Corley-Lay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The pavement network represents a visible and expensive component of a highway agency's total transportation investment and, thus, requires proper management. Historically, the agencies managing these investments have relied on manual distress surveys carried out by personnel who drive the network and provide subjective condition assessments. Surveys completed by a highly instrumented vehicle driven at standard travel speeds have become a viable alternative. Questions regarding accuracy and consistency with existing survey protocols still remain with these automated survey methods. This paper reports on the findings from a study to evaluate automated distress surveys. Vendors and manual survey teams have evaluated the distresses along a test loop in North Carolina using two survey protocols: (1)an agency's standard network level survey, and (2)the long-term pavement performance survey. Communication between the vendor and agency is the single most important factor that allows for the proper utilization of automated surveys for network-level surveys. For best results, agencies considering using automated methods may wish to utilize an initial test loop to calibrate the automated distress results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Asset management
  • Pavement management system
  • Pavement survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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