Analyze pavement profile data with greater ease and improve your pavement smoothness with the help of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Pavement Profile Viewing and Analysis (ProVAL) software. ProVAL allows users to view and analyze pavement profiles collected by inertial pavement profile measurement equipment. These profilers use lasers and other technology to calculate pavement smoothness, as measured using indexes such as the International Roughness Index (IRI). ProVAL is currently the only software application that can read data from numerous inertial pavement profilers and standardize the data using a common format.
First introduced in 2001, ProVAL traces its origins to FHWA’s Long-Term Pavement Performance Program. Since its introduction, thousands of users around the world have relied on ProVAL to process and analyze pavement profile data. The current 2.72 version, developed by the Transtec Group in Austin, Texas, allows users to customize the software to reflect their preferences. Users can change the main screen, for example, so that it displays only the features they use. Users also can customize the data input and automate the setup selections, as well as define and save specific settings that comply with their own agency specifications. Another powerful tool is the Profile Editor, which can be used to edit and filter data sets instantly and export the results to spreadsheets and other software programs. Version 2.72 has further enhanced the reporting and table exporting features and improved the ability to customize ride statistics.
ProVAL’s data format was recently adopted as an ASTM International standard, “E 2560-07: Standard Specification for Data Format for Pavement Profile.” The new standard will be included in the 2008 Annual Book of ASTM Standards.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) achieved a smoother ride on a highway project in southern Ohio in June by using ProVAL. ODOT had resurfaced the asphalt pavement and put a new deck on a bridge on U.S. 23 in southern Ohio, but the resulting ride was found to exceed the state’s acceptable levels. After deciding to diamond grind to correct the problem, ODOT used the diamond grinding simulator in ProVAL to optimize its strategy. ProVAL’s simulation was right on target with the independent calculations performed by ODOT’s contractor, Safety Grooving and Grinding, as well as the actual grinding ultimately done for the project. Diamond grinding was performed on June 13, 2007, with tremendous results. For the section of the bridge that had the worst ride problem, the IRI calculation was 152 in. per mile. The ProVAL simulation predicted an IRI of 108 after grinding, with the actual result being 70. Similarly, the bridge’s left wheel path had an IRI of 324, with a predicted result of 208 after grinding. The final result was 128.
ODOT is requiring all of its contractors this year to use ProVAL to calculate pavement smoothness indices.
To download a free copy of ProVAL or to learn more about how the software can help you achieve smoother roads, visit www .roadprofile.com.