14 Texas SPS-3 test sites were studied to determine effectiveness of preventative maintenance treatments (PMTs). These sections were built on 4 highway classifications (IH, US, SH, and FM) in different climates and with different levels of traffic and subgrade support. Almost all 14 SPS-3 sites were given PMTs (thin overlay, slurry seal, crack seal, and chip seal) in Fall 1990. The distress score concept used by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) was adopted in this study to judge the effectiveness of PMTs. TxDOT has used this concept since the early 1980s, though the utility factors have been revised few times. The distress score quantifies the visible surface wear due to traffic and environmental influences. Only very few sections experienced premature failures on the SPS-3 sites in Texas. In many cases, superior underlying pavement conditions have been found. The chip seal has the most sites in which it is rated the best performer. The chip seals performed well on a wide range of pavement conditions. In fact, chip seals have the highest distress score for both high and low traffic areas. When initial cost is considered, crack seal provides the best alternative for low traffic routes that have a sound underlying pavement structure. For high traffic routes, chip seal is a better choice. However, a thin overlay is the most effective for rut resistance. Since the thin overlay has the highest initial cost, it is best used on high traffic routes where rutting is a major concern. If rutting is not a concern, chip seal is the best choice for a high traffic area. The treatments applied to US84 sections were too late and did not reach 7 years of life as normally was expected, which reconfirms that the timing for PMT is very important.


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  • Accession Number: 00961630
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 5 2003 12:00AM