California Department of Transportation

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Pavement Management

Glass ball, hands, road image

Office of Pavement Management

2389 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95833

The Office of Pavement Management and Performance monitors the performance of all the highways in the state of California. This is accomplished by measuring the pavement condition and optimizing repair strategies for pavement rehabilitation and maintenance. The office collects data using vehicles that measure surface characteristics including roughness, cracking and faulting. This data is processed by the PaveM software to optimize pavement rehabilitation and maintenance strategies.

  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Pavement Studies
  • Automated Pavement Condition Survey (APCS)
  • Pavement Management System (PaveM)
  • Pavment Condition Survey


Pavement Management System (PaveM)

PaveM will enable the Caltransí Pavement Program to develop and successfully implement a proactive approach for prioritizing, preserving, rehabilitating, and maintaining existing highway pavements. PaveM includes technology and implementation planning, software application configuration, database implementation, interfaces to internal applications, testing, training, data conversion, end user and technical documentation, project management, and post-implementation warranty and annual maintenance support. By addressing current pavement policies and data collection processes, a significant change in the resource allocation method for pavement projects will be developed based on the data-driven pavement deterioration analysis and prioritized by the Pavement Program. This will result in a significant change in the mix of pavement projects (preventative maintenance, corrective maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction) and will reduce the growth of pavement rehabilitation and major maintenance highway inventory. In order to achieve these goals Caltrans has identified the following primary business objectives:

  • Create the ability to provide a secure method to assure data integrity and access to all vested and interested parties which will lead to improved communication and help optimize the investment in maintenance activities.
  • Allow for importing of data from other systems to create a single source for pavement data to improve the program and project decision making process.
  • Provide a single source of reports for internal and external stakeholders to improve the project decision making process.
  • Provide timely and accurate information to FHWA, CTC, and executive management to improve the project decision making process.
  • Create the ability to prioritize pavement projects based on objective distress and condition indices leading to optimized investment and long-term cost avoidance.
  • Monitor fixed pavement segments over time to see the change in the pavement condition to optimize the timing of maintenance decisions leading to long-term cost avoidance.
  • Create predictive models for assisting in optimizing the planning and programming of future projects leading to long-term cost avoidance.
  • Provide the ability to centralize and standardize the tracking of history through integration of key data sources to facilitate optimization of the investment in maintenance and rehabilitation activities.
  • Provide pavement performance and history of activities at any project location within the network to facilitate optimization at the district level and statewide investments.
  • Provide the ability to implement multiple budgeting scenarios based on funding level and a proposed level of service in order to optimize funding leading to long-term cost avoidance.
  • Provide the ability to determine a budget level that will support a defined pavement performance level focused on extending the service life by applying preservation treatments early instead of having to rehabilitate the pavement later leading to long-term cost avoidance.
  • Improve budgeting to provide the capability to increase the number of lane miles of fair to excellent pavement to 90% of the highway network.

PaveM will provide a tool set to assist management with decisions regarding the cost-effective use of available funding for pavement maintenance and rehabilitation.

PaveM will include functionality as described below:

  • Access to pavement information from a variety of sources to help improve the program and project decision making process.
  • A toolset for pavement analysis and decision making. The analysis tool must provide a means to proactively recommend maintenance strategies based on Caltrans policies and predict pavement conditions using performance models as it pertains to condition management, planning, and budgeting.
  • The capability to perform optimization at both the network and project-level. Network-level decisions are made for planning purposes: either program planning or financial planning. Project-level decisions are made to select the best treatment and the best time to apply that treatment to a section of pavement that has deteriorated from its as-built condition.
  • Standard maps and reports, and a mechanism to export any PaveM data to industry standard formats. Additionally PaveM must also contain custom reporting tools that allow Caltrans to produce reports containing virtually any information about pavements that might be needed.

A feedback mechanism utilizing advanced data mining techniques shall be provided to evaluate the effectiveness of new pavement designs, construction techniques, or material properties and verify the assumptions used in a life cycle cost analysis or to update pavement deterioration models.

PaveM will require an initial data from:

  • Pavement Management Information Branch (PMIB) System
  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Contract
  • Automated Pavement Condition Survey (APCS)

Automated Pavement Condition Survey (APCS)

Automated Pavement Condition Survey (APCS) consists of collecting surface pavement sensor and image based distress data and analyzing data in conformance with the Departmentís APCS Manual.

APCS will collect raw data that include surface longitudinal and transverse profiles, downward perspective images of the pavement surface, and right-of-way images. All data are to be collected at highway speeds using van-mounted equipment that uses various profile and image collection technologies integrated with geo-referencing systems including (GPS), inertial referencing systems and distance measuring instruments. Data collected are to be organized, analyzed and evaluated for each data segment according to APCS Manual using various technologies to yield the following:

  • Pavement Types: Identify pavement surface types based on APCS Manuals;
  • Pavement Images: Collect raw data consisting of geo-referenced pavement images (including downward perspective images, and right-of-way images) and pavement surface profile data;
  • Profiles: Raw data to be collected include surface longitudinal and transverse profiles; and
  • Analyzed values for smoothness using the International Roughness Index (IRI) and macro-texture using the Mean Profile Depth (MPD) in the wheel paths. Quantify measurements of the pavement distresses such as cracking, rutting and faulting, and measurements of other pavement condition indicators by means of downward digital images.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Contract

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is creating a new pavement management system (PaveM). The baseline of this pavement structure inventory will consist of geographic coordinates that locate layer thicknesses and material types continuously along network and the geographic coordinates of non-pavement fixed assets such as bridges, ramps, county lines, etc.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology will be used as the tool for data collection of continuous layer thicknesses. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology will be used as the primary tool for data collection of geographic locations. Coring and soil sampling will be used as the primary tool for data collection of layer material type.

The overall objectives of this project are as follows:

  • Create a baseline, lane-based pavement structure inventory consisting of layer thicknesses and material types for the entire state highway network;
  • Obtain the geographic coordinates of the locations of the pavement structures; and
  • Obtain the geographic coordinates of non-pavement fixed assets on the network, such as bridges, ramps, county lines, etc.

The data collected by will be used by the Department to establish fixed management roadway sections for network and project level PaveM operations.


Pavement Management System (PMS) Wiki Site

FHWA PMS Publication

Pavement Management Web Site

Data Mining for Caltrans PMS

Mississippi DOT PMS




Please forward any questions/comments/suggestions to Hector Vergara ( Last updated 07/26/2012.