Case study for evaluating benefits of pavement research: final results

18 March 2016

Heavy-duty pavement innovations developed through research for a major rehabilitation project in California were evaluated. The performance benefits of the innovations were examined, and the economic benefits from implementation of the pavement designs were analyzed. Benefits are presented through descriptions of the rehabilitation project, background on the development of long-life pavement rehabilitation innovations, and design requirements that limit permanent deformation (rutting) within the first 5 years of service. Results from field measurements confirmed that the innovative pavements met the performance criterion. The final results of a pilot study to quantify direct benefits stemming from accelerated pavement testing are presented. Cost-benefit analysis that included agency costs with and without road user costs was used, and the influence of the discount rate in net present value calculations is given. Road user costs had a significant influence on cost-benefit calculations, especially in the case of a heavily congested freeway. This influence led to cost savings ranging from $1.128 million to $121.570 million, which emphasized the importance of performing a sensitivity analysis instead of reporting a single estimate of savings and benefit-cost ratio. The final results showed clear field performance benefits of the pavement innovations and indicated positive economic benefits from the research that led to innovations