Measurement of pavement permanent deformation is critical to highway agencies for both pavement design and rehabilitation. Since the AASHO Road Test in the late 1950s and early 1960s, field rut condition is monitored by agencies on a regular basis. Over the decades, rut depth has been the solely dominating pavement permanent deformation indicator extensively used, though it faces many criticisms for being incomplete to characterize rut. The premature data collection technology, lack of uniform practice standard, and unrealistic expectations have hindered the improvement of rut measurement.
Recently, two AASHTO draft standard documents PP70-10 and PP69-10 are published specifying data requirements and procedures for deriving new technical parameters, respectively. It is envisioned that the mature application of the 1 mm 3D pavement surface data collected by PaveVision3D Ultra system in companion with the new standards poses a significant opportunity to change the landscape of current rut measurement practice.
This research described in the thesis accomplishes the following tasks to provide substantial insights into the new rut measurement requirements. First, thirteen technical parameters covering multiple aspects of pavement ruts are derived based on PP69-10. The rut depth measures documented in PP69-10 are verified with ground truth values. Second, a thorough study of these rut attributes is conducted with 8,960 transverse profiles collected from National Highway Systems (NHS) in Arkansas. The interrelationships among different technical parameters are explored, and inferences regarding pavement performance are developed. Third, a comprehensive hierarchical system is constructed for overall permanent deformation evaluation. The standardized index provided by the proposed system can help highway agencies manage pavement performance in a more comprehensive and reasonable manner. Fourth, the impact of vehicle wandering on the accuracy of rut measurements is assessed. A methodology is developed and verified to reduce the adverse effect of unknown lane locations.
Overall, this thesis demonstrates findings of a timely study in rut measurement and characterization based on the latest standard protocols and data collection technology. The research provides insights and useful supplements to both practitioners and researchers in the transition to apply the most advanced 1 mm 3D laser imaging technology to comprehensive pavement survey.