LIVES OF HIGHWAY SURFACES - HALF CENTURY TRENDS

AMONG THE MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF THE ROAD LIFE STUDY PHASE OF THE HIGHWAY PLANNING SURVEYS IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF FACTUAL DATA RELATING TO (1) HOW LONG ROAD SURFACES REMAIN IN SERVICE BEFORE THEY ARE REPLACED, AND (2) WHAT IS DONE TO THE ROAD SURFACES AT THE TIME OF REPLACEMENT. THIS IS THE THIRD REPORT ON THIS SUBJECT IN THE PAST 16 YEARS. THE FIRST REPORT WAS IN 1940 AND THE SECOND IN 1948. IN THE PRESENT REPORT THE LIFE EXPERIENCE OF ROAD SURFACES ON PRIMARY RURAL HIGHWAYS COVERS THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 1, 1900 TO JANUARY 1, 1953. THE BASIC DATA WERE SUBMITTED BY 25 STATES AND PUERTO RICO FOR RURAL STATE OR FEDERAL-AID PRIMARY SYSTEMS AND INCLUDE 344,108 MILES OF CONSTRUCTION AND 192,741 MILES OF RETIREMENTS. RESULTS OF THE ANALYSIS SHOW THAT THE NUMBER OF YEARS A SURFACE REMAINS IN SERVICE BEFORE IT IS RESURFACED, RECONSTRUCTED, OR OTHERWISE REPLACED RANGES FROM 5.2 YEARS FOR LOWER TYPE SURFACES TO 25.5 YEARS FOR THE HIGHER TYPE SURFACES. OF THE 183,976 MILES ANALYZED BY METHOD OF RETIREMENT THROUGH 1952,57 PERCENT WERE RESURFACED, 31 PERCENT RECONSTRUCTED, 9 PERCENT TRANSFERRED TO OTHER PUBLIC AGENCIES, AND 3 PERCENT ABANDONED. SINCE THE WAR THE PROPORTION RESURFACED HAS DECREASED AND THE PROPORTION RECONSTRUCTED HAS INCREASED. DATA FOR NINE STATES ARE COMMON TO ALL THREE REPORTS. FOR THESE NINE STATES, AN ESTIMATE WAS MADE OF WHAT MILEAGES WOULD STILL BE IN SERVICE IN 1953 IF ROAD SURFACES CONTINUED TO BE RETIRED AT THE RATES SHOWN IN THE 1940 AND 1948 REPORTS. THIS ESTIMATE WAS THEN CHECKED AGAINST THE ACTUAL MILEAGE REMAINING IN 1953. THERE WAS CLOSE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE ACTUAL AND ESTIMATED MILES REMAINING. THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PREVIOUS FORECASTS AND THE PRESENT REPORT MAY BE PARTLY DUE TO THE LAGGING HIGHWAY PROGRAM DURING THE WAR AND POSTWAR PERIODS. ON JANUARY 1, 1953, THE AVERAGE AGE WAS 13.0 YEARS FOR LOW TYPE, 10.9 YEARS FOR INTERMEDIATE TYPE, AND 13.3 YEARS FOR HIGH TYPE SURFACES. CORRESPONDING REMAINING LIFE EXPECTANCIES ARE 2.9, 5.9, AND 9.3 YEARS, RESPECTIVELY. THE SERVICE LIFE DATA DEVELOPED IN THIS REPORT WERE USED IN ESTIMATING THE PROBABLE MILEAGES REMAINING IN SERVICE IN FUTURE YEARS. DURING THE 10 YEARS, JANUARY 1, 1953 TO JANUARY 1, 1963, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 96 PERCENT OF THE LOW, 83 PERCENT OF THE INTERMEDIATE, AND 61 PERCENT OF THE HIGH TYPE SURFACES IN SERVICE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PERIOD WILL BE RETIRED THROUGH RESURFACING, RECONSTRUCTION, ABANDONMENT OR TRANSFER. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 35, pp 89 - 101, 4 FIG, 7 TAB, 1 APP
  • Authors:
    • Gronberg, G D
    • Blosser, N B
  • Publication Date: 1956

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board, Washington, D.C., January 17-20, 1956
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00207340
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 8 1971 12:00AM