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Maintaining Pavements in a changing Climate

March 2, 2017

Hot Pavement

We’ve all seen the news recently reporting climate changes that have caused extreme stress on our transportation and utility infrastructure across the nation. Whether it is failing dams, erosion of highways due to flooding and shifting soils or fires from extreme droughts, climatic changes affect long term performance of these systems. In today’s environment of drastic changes in climates from year to year, it becomes a challenge to understand the forces that continually deteriorate our transportation infrastructure.

The long-term effects of climate changes on pavement are significant. They include significant reduction in stiffness of subgrade and asphalt concrete surfaces, faster deterioration with a drastic reduction of performance life and a faster and non-linear increase in maintenance costs. Such increases in cost are not apparent from predictions that do not consider climate changes. How does pavement performance deteriorate differently with climate change and its uncertainty?

Climatic changes can result in dramatic moisture variations within the soil, more frequent freeze-thaw cycles and extreme temperature variations. These conditions often result in heaving of the roadbed soils, reduced load bearing capacity and erosion of the soils, void formation beneath pavement layers and deterioration of the pavement surface. Do you know when and how often these changes occur within your network? What are the effects on the pavement condition when these climatic conditions occur?

In some regions, an increase in heavy rainfall events may cause extreme erosion, especially in an environment previously in drought conditions. Frequent, long periods of rainfall result in saturated conditions due to a significant increase in the rainfall volumes. Large amounts of surface runoff through pavement edge infiltration, thermal condensation due to these temperature fluctuations and additional moisture infiltration from unsealed pavement cracks all increase the subgrade moisture. Depending upon the climate and region, extreme drying can also occur in the winter.

An increase in frequency of extreme heat days and multi-day heat wave events in the summer, especially in the south, also add to the drying of soils and evaporation of surface water. These climatic factors and environmental conditions affect the pavement structural properties, deteriorate pavement response under loading, decrease pavement performance life and increase the rate of deterioration, resulting in a change in the frequency and type of maintenance and rehabilitation required.

How can we better understand these changes and how they affect our pavement structures? Consistent and accurate pavement condition rating will help you understand the changes occurring in the pavement structure. A regular frequency of condition evaluations every 2 to 5 years will help monitor isolated distresses and provide a better deterioration curve for more accurate prediction of future performance. Survey areas should be equally spaced and marked within the segments to represent the overall conditions, in general conformance with ASTM D6433, such that they can be surveyed consistently for each cycle.

A quick study and review of weather conditions, including seasonal rainfall and temperature changes, will help determine the extent and timing of changes that may be occurring in the pavement system. After severe climatic changes, a small sample condition assessment of select survey areas may indicate if significant deterioration has occurred since the last survey. Understanding how these changes will affect pavement performance will help avoid reactionary repairs and help control costs by improving preventive maintenance.

In addition to pavement condition rating, we also need to understand how the climate changes affect the engineering properties of the pavement materials by reviewing the actual distresses observed to determine what forces may be causing the observed distress. Further engineering evaluations, such as deflection testing, ground penetrating radar or soil sampling may be needed to understand if the distress is related to moisture in the subgrade or other factors that are producing the change in properties of the materials.

A complete review of the soil conditions and properties are vital in understanding the cause of distress and determining the most appropriate maintenance solutions. This is important in not only finding the correct repair, but also in determining the risk associated with potential failure and proper preventive treatments to apply to a pavement structure before the distress occurs.

While proper assessment of the causes for pavement failure is important to determine proper maintenance, when to apply the treatments should be determined through optimization of maintenance for the pavement network. Use of good asset management software, such as VUEWorks, allows users to apply risk factors to the decision process and to quickly perform numerous scenarios to determine which maintenance strategy is the most effective in reducing maintenance costs and maximizing the benefits.

These risk factors can be used to apply more weight on pavement segments with sensitive environmental conditions that may be affected by the climatic changes. According to annual studies performed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the US transportation infrastructure is graded as a D.

With new leadership in Washington, we have heard reports of a new emphasis on funding to improve the condition of our infrastructure, yet each local agency understands this may be too little, too late. Now, more than ever, asset management tools are necessary to keep up with the changing environmental conditions that affect the performance of pavements and the funding needs.

If you are interested in learning more about pavement management best practices and opportunities, please reach out to us!

VUEWorks 2017 Training & Workshop Opportunities

February 9, 2017
The following are the preliminary dates and locations for VUEWorks Training and User Interactions. The logistics, agendas and details are being finalized. For planning purposes, we wanted to let our user community know so you can start planning for any or all of these you would be interested in attending.

Please check back on the Events page for additional details, agenda information, etc. Registration for these events is open now through the website by clicking the link there for each individual event. Registrants will be provided webinar login information separately after registration.

Workshop Series Webinars


Performance-Based Asset Management Best Practices – Making Your Data Work for You with Dashboards

February 7, 2017

VUEWorksWe are all familiar with the day-to-day activities happening throughout our organization. Lots of things are happening and this information is being captured in our Asset Management System throughout the day, week, month and year. Information is an asset in and of itself, but it is neglected at many organizations because of the focus on “today’s” activities.

Dashboards can provide a passive way of visualizing data so that Performance Metrics can be monitored (e.g. How many Issues are older than 24 hours?). It can also provide Insights into your data that are not easily seen in tabular layouts of data Filters and Reports. This information should be presented to the Asset Management user in a way that is relevant to their day-to-day activities and should be interactive, giving the user control over the information in front of them.

VUEWorks set out to create this exact user experience when we decided to overhaul our Dashboard tools. The following goals were presented to the Development team along with their associated User Stories. This process would focus on the User, so we also enlisted many key clients from our customer base to provide the guidance necessary to achieve these goals:

  • Provide a Unique User Experience, focused on the Individual User as well as Groups of Users who share the same, common information
  • Provide a Wizard-driven User Interface (UI) to make it easy for anyone to author their own Dashboard Widgets
  • Expose all Data Sources and GIS Layers to allow for ANY type of Dashboard to be created
  • Provide a series of commonly used Dashboard Widget Types and share them among users within the organization

  • Integrate with / Leverage Existing Filters throughout the VUEWorks interface to make it easy for users to get their specific data delivered to their Dashboard without having to re-create anything.

  • Provide a series of Mathematical Functions (e.g. Count, Average, Min, Max, Sum) that can be organized by Values (Good, Fair, Poor) or Ranges of Values (Bins).

  • Allow the user to change the Appearance (2D or 3D), Legend Settings (Marker Types, Position) or General Settings (Labels, Font and Margins) related to the Widget.

  • Integrate with Existing User and Role-based Security found throughout VUEWorks.

  • Provide easy to use Help and Online resources to help train users and expose them to new functionality.

DTS will be hosting a webinar on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST to more fully review the dashboard functionality with our VUEWorks User Community. If you are interested in learning more, please register for the webinar on the events page of our website.

Register Today!


Data Transfer Solutions is pleased to welcome Adam to the team!

February 1, 2017

Orlando, Florida – Data Transfer Solutions, LLC (DTS) is pleased to welcome Mr. Adam Goodnoe to the growing team.

Mr. Goodnoe will primarily support the VUEWorks enterprise asset management application, including software/web development, testing and quality control. He will also work with the support team to assist in troubleshooting issues from a development/software perspective. Mr. Goodnoe has 6 years of web application development experience.

“We are excited to have Adam join our team in Manchester and are looking forward to many great things from him,” said Dave Paine, VUEWorks’ Chief Technology Officer.

Adam Goodnoe
During his leisure time, Adam likes spending time with his daughter, as seen in the picture. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hiking, canoeing, camping, gardening and yard work. He loves writing, cooking, baking and pickling. He has two dogs, Shadow and Angel.

Data Transfer Solutions (DTS), Makers of VUEWorks is the leader in performance-based asset management. DTS provides mobile asset collection, work and asset management and custom geographic information system solutions.

To welcome Adam to the team or get in touch with DTS, just drop us a line as we look forward to hearing from you. Get in touch with the DTS team!

DTS’s Director of Asset Management Operations – Daniel Behnke, GISP, AICP, PMP – Named URISA’s Young Professional of the Year

January 24, 2017

Orlando, Florida – Data Transfer Solutions, LLC (DTS) congratulates Daniel Behnke, GISP, AICP, PMP on being named the Urban and Regional Information System Association’s (URISA) Young Professional of the Year.

As part of his service over the past two years, Mr. Behnke served as a member of the Vanguard Cabinet. The Vanguard Cabinet is an advisory board made up of passionate, young geospatial professionals who strive to engage young practitioners and better understand the concerns facing these future leaders of the geospatial community.

The Vanguard Cabinet’s mission is to create programs and policies that benefit young professionals and enhance overall innovation, collaboration, networking and professional development opportunities. Mr. Behnke is also actively involved in the Florida Planning and Zoning Association as well as a host of other civic initiatives.

At DTS, Mr. Behnke oversees all facets of the firm’s asset management data collection operations including its fleet of collection vehicles, production and project delivery across DTS’s portfolio of projects. “We couldn’t be more proud of Daniel. This recognition is a testament to his work ethic and passion for his profession,” said A.M. “Trey” Fragala, III, AICP, PMP, DTS’s Chief Operating Officer.

Data Transfer Solutions (DTS), Makers of VUEWorks is the leader in performance-based asset management. DTS provides mobile asset collection, work and asset management and custom geographic information system solutions.

To welcome Scot to the team or get in touch with DTS, just drop us a line as we look forward to hearing from you. Get in touch with the DTS team!