New Mexico Department of Transportation partners with NMSU civil engineering to assess condition of highway pavements

Writer: Paola Bandini

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has partnered with NMSU civil engineering faculty, Paola Bandini and Douglas Cortes, to carry out the 2012 Pavement Condition Program.

Justin Lindsey

Civil engineering student Justin Lindsey inspects a crack in the highway as part of NMDOT’s Pavement Condition Program. (Photo by Paola Bandini)

This summer, 12 civil engineering students will evaluate the surface condition of 5,000 miles of state-maintained highway pavements throughout central and southern New Mexico. The students will be trained and supervised by the faculty. The pavement condition assessment consists of evaluating and rating the severity and extent of eight types of surface pavement distresses, which are signs of deterioration of the pavement structure. This year, the program has been expanded to obtain additional pavement condition data needed for annual reporting to the Highway Performance Monitoring System of the Federal Highway Administration.

The data collected will be compiled and carefully checked according with the quality assurance and quality control plan before being reported to NMDOT this fall. This NMDOT professional service agreement provides $346,618 for the project.

Bandini directed the Pavement Evaluation Program for NMDOT in 2006 through 2009. Pavement condition data were not collected in New Mexico in the following two years because of state’s budget constraints.

These pavement condition data are vital for the NMDOT’s pavement management system to make decisions on budget, maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the New Mexico’s highway network. The pavement condition data are also used in the state’s annual reports of the conditions of New Mexico highways for the legislature.

“This partnership of NMDOT and NMSU contributes to building research capacity of the Civil Engineering Department in transportation engineering and provides an excellent work and technical experience to a number of students in New Mexico,” said Bandini.


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