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Transportation Final 10-15-09 -   2.1 - State Highway Pavement

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Transportation Final 10-15-09
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Environment
5. Stewardship
Current Conditions
6. Economic Recovery

2.1 - State Highway Pavement

What is the condition of pavement on WSDOT-managed roadways?

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Data Notes
Data Source: WSDOT Materials Lab.
Measure Definition:
Target Rationale:
Link to Agency Strategic Plan:

Notes: (optional)



WSDOT is one of a few states to perform its pavement condition survey using an automated pavement condition vehicle on 100% of the surveyed lanes, allowing WSDOT to complete an evaluation of all state highways. WSDOT’s vehicle travels at highway speeds and collects data through the use of high-resolution digital imaging to determine the amount of cracking and patching, pavement roughness and rutting annually on all state highways.

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Action Plan:


Extended Analysis Yes

 Summary Analysis

In 2007, roughly 93.3% of WSDOT’s highway pavement was in fair or better condition, slightly down from the previous year by 0.2%

§      In comparison, 33% of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, according to The Road Information Project.


§      WSDOT currently maintains over 18,000 lane miles of state highway pavement consisting of three pavement types: chip seal (Bituminous Surface Treatment), hot mix asphalt (HMA), and concrete.

§      WSDOT's pavement management system is one of the best in the world, called a "model" for other states by FHWA. WSDOT developed an alternative strategy to lowest life-cycle costs in the face of sharp cost increases, reduced revenues, and accelerated deterioration of concrete pavements.

§      Hot mix asphalt—nearly two-thirds of WSDOT's roadway network—doubled in price over the last five years, impacting the number of miles WSDOT can overlay.

§      Using less-expensive chip seals to resurface HMA roads with lower traffic volumes (less than 5,000 vehicles per day) rather than HMA, WSDOT has minimized the growth of the backlog requiring rehabilitation at one third the equivalent annual cost: $5,000/per lane mile per year vs. $15,000/per lane mile per year.

o     The 2009-11 investment plan includes $18 million for these resurfacings, generating efficiencies of approximately $56 million that WSDOT will transfer to concrete pavement investments.

§      The concrete backlog has grown, and 60% is past its design life. To meet this long-term backlog, an estimated investment of $2 billion over the next 20 years is needed to replace cracked pavement and dowel bar retrofit those that are coming to the end of their regular life-cycle.