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Transportation Final 10-15-11 -   2.1 - State Highway Pavement

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Transportation Final 10-15-11
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Ferries
5. Stewardship
Action Plan

2.1 - State Highway Pavement
What is the condition of pavement on WSDOT-managed roadways?

Data Notes
Data Source: WSDOT Materials Lab. Data current as of December 31, 2010.
Measure Definition: Percent of pavement lane miles by condition category.
Target Rationale:
Link to Agency Strategic Plan: Objective 2.2: Preserve highway pavements at the lowest life cycle cost.

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.

Also Available
Action Plan:


Extended Analysis Yes

 Drill Down Measures

 Summary Analysis

2009 Pavement Condition Survey: According to the 2009 pavement condition survey, road conditions continued to be good in Washington State. About 93% of all pavements were rated as good or fair. The percentage of all pavements in poor condition increased 1.7% from 5.3% in 2008 to 7% in 2009. 
  • WSDOT currently maintains over 18,500 lane miles of state highway pavement consisting of three pavement types: chip seal (Bituminous Surface Treatment), asphalt (either hot mix or warm mix asphalt), and concrete.
  • WSDOT has been at the forefront of pavement technology to implement cost saving and performance enhancing methods to make the state’s roads last longer and cost less. The agency’s Washington State Pavement Management System (WSPMS) has been recognized as one of the best in the nation. It focuses on alternative preservation strategies based on lowest life-cycle costs (LLCC). 

Recovery Act Pavement Preservation: The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) provided approximately $164.8 million in Recovery Act funding for an additional 820 lane miles of pavement to be rehabilitated throughout the state. As of December 2010, approximately 30% of this funding was directed to concrete pavement preservation and 47% was planned to be spent on asphalt resurfacing.

WSDOT's Flexible Pavement Plan: Chip seals currently make up about 4,580 lane miles – or 25% – of the WSDOT-managed system and have a typical life of six to seven years. There is a strong economic incentive to maximize the use of chip seals when budgets are tight.

  • Chips seals typically cost an average of $40,000 per lane mile compared to $250,000 per lane mile for asphalt pavements. 

Because of the economic advantage of chip seal surfacing, an evaluation was performed of existing asphalt pavements to determine which may be candidates to convert to a chip seal surface.

  • WSDOT expects that about 2,300 lane miles of asphalt pavement can eventually be converted to chip seal surfaces. This would occur over time, when each candidate asphalt pavement section reaches the optimum time for conversion.
  • After 15 years, 50% more lane miles in the state will be paved with chip seal, from 4,580 lane miles today to 6,880 lane miles in 2026. The average annual lane miles requiring chip seal resurfacing will grow proportionately, from 730 lane miles to 980 lane miles.