You’ve assessed the condition of the pavement in your network. You’ve optimized your treatment plan and implemented the right treatments at the right time. That’s a lot of work. And you might feel like you’ve done all you need to do.
But there’s one more critical step in maintaining an effective network – measuring your results.
Not only does measuring your results give you an indication of your efforts so far, it’s the best way to help you understand which next step can optimize taxpayer dollars and maximize the life of your network.
When it comes to pavement preservation, there are three levels of understanding your results: good, better and best.
Good: How Did My Treatments Perform Against Expectations?
Before you start any project, whether it’s for prevention, rehabilitation or reconstruction, you should have an idea of how it’s going to impact your network. But despite your best intentions, expectations and reality don’t always match. It’s important to be realistic with both how you implemented the treatment and how it performed.
Ask yourself: did you apply the treatment in the best possible circumstances? Are there other factors that contributed to the condition of the road after treatment? Was I realistic in what I thought this treatment would accomplish, in terms of life extension, improvement in pavement condition, strength, and ride quality?
Knowing how the results relate to your expectations helps inform future treatment use and application-- giving you more tools in your toolbox.
Better: What Should I Try Next Year For Greater Gains?
Knowing how your past treatments performed is the foundation for understanding what to do next. If one prevention treatment didn’t add as many mile-years as you expected, what can you do differently to reach that result on the next road segment?
Sometimes, a more effective approach could mean implementing a certain treatment in a different way: applying the treatment earlier, using it on more or less miles of your network or changing the specifics of what you applied-- For specifics in this arena, contact an expert in your region, who can give you technical advice and tips for best practices.
Best: How Did My Approach Improve the Condition of My Network Over the Long Term?
Short-term results can feel a little more tangible and satisfying, but they aren’t very indicative of the long-term health of your network. Since roads aren’t a short-term resource, understanding the impact of your treatment plan over a longer period of time is a more effective way you can measure the results of your treatment.
Ask yourself: did my treatments contribute to the overall remaining service life (RSL) of my network? Were my immediate efforts inspired by trying to achieve short-term success or long-term stability? What can I do next to make sure that my network is in the best possible shape not just for the next few years, but for the next few decades?
Understanding results is important for any road network manager. But just understanding those results is not enough. Knowing how to apply what you’ve learned can substantially improve the quality of a road network for generations to come.
Learn more about measuring results and how to optimize your road network here.