Value of Pavement Smoothness

Smoothness, the absence of bumps and dips in the riding surface of a pavement, improves the quality of the ride and is believed to prolong the life of the pavement. Research addressed the effect of Virginia’s special provision for smoothness on contract prices for hot-mix asphalt. The research also examined the financial value of the resulting product (presumably smoother pavements). The analysis included maintenance cost savings for the owner–agency, as well as any reduction in delay and operating costs for the motoring public. A detailed statistical analysis found no statistically definitive effect on bid price as a result of the use of a special provision for rideability. A similar analysis on a more focused data set, however, did document a lifetime reduction in the international roughness index of almost 9 in./mi. This reduction in roughness (increase in smoothness) implies an increase in pavement service life, which translates into reduced annual maintenance costs. The lifetime decrease in roughness can lead to even more dramatic user cost savings. A case study demonstrated a fuel cost savings (for trucks alone) of $190,000 over a 10-year period for each lane mile of highway resurfaced under the special provision.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01045601
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309113045
  • Files: PRP, TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 5:20PM