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Development of a traffic data input system in Arizona for the MEPDG.
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Development of a traffic data input system in Arizona for the MEPDG.
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    Accurate traffic data is one of the key data elements required for the cost-effective design of all rehabilitation and reconstruction of pavement structures. This research study addresses the collection, preparation, and use of traffic data required for pavement design by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), focusing on data required as inputs for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) design procedures. ADOT’s current traffic data collection and preparation processes are not adequate to meet the needs of the MEPDG procedure, and improvements are needed. These improvements include enhanced volume, classification, and weight data collection for vehicles, processing data and performing quality assurance checks, and the preparation/analysis of the data for use in the MEPDG. Use of the MEPDG in Arizona will require (1) an annual flow of updated key traffic data and (2) the ability to collect on-site (MEPDG Level 1) data in a timely manner for key projects. An action plan (Chapter 8) calls for the establishment of an Arizona Traffic Segment Database that includes all state highways (or the expansion of an existing traffic database). This database would include all traffic inputs required for the AASHTO MEPDG and AASHTO 1993 design procedures, as well as ADOT pavement management activities. Traffic segments would be identified by beginning and ending milepost numbers and global positioning system (GPS) coordinates along each highway. The researchers propose, and have partly developed, a system for traffic data collection for the MEPDG in Arizona. Level 1 data collection procedures are provided for selected traffic inputs. ADOT’s traffic data collection group will need to develop a process for collecting Level 1 data in a timely manner for important projects requested from the pavement design group. This report also discusses recommended Level 2 and Level 3 inputs, which were prepared based on the best historical data available. These data represent a good initial set of inputs that can be used over the next few years. However, the inputs should be updated annually using improved data collection methods beginning as soon as possible.
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