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Asphalt Pavement - Distress Identification

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This two-hour online course covers the methods used for surveys of asphalt concrete distressed pavements and includes sizing, identifying and determining the severity levels. The goal is to provide a uniform basis for collecting the pavement distress data and thus improve communication within and between highway agencies. The course describes how to conduct the distress survey, measuring cracks, rutting, potholes and other distresses and explains how to obtain traffic control. Photographs and drawings illustrate the types of pavement distress and necessary measurements.

This course covers these topics:
  • Review and discussion of the types of asphalt concrete pavement distresses.
  • Methods for describing the pavement distress and determining the level of severity.
  • Descriptions of how to conduct pavement distress surveys.
  • Uniform descriptions of distress to improve communication within highway agencies.
  • Equipment and tools used for taking distress surveys.
  • Sample forms for recording and reporting the distress data.
  • Drawings and photos illustrating the types and severity levels of pavement distresses.

  • The Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) developed the comprehensive pavement performance test Long-term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program in 1987. Highway agencies in the US and other countries have collected data on pavement conditions for more than 1000 pavement sections. The purpose of the manual used for this course was to provide a uniform basis for collecting distress data and to enable the performance of accurate and consistent distress evaluation surveys. Communication within and between highway agencies, parking facilities is improved and planning and performing pavement repairs becomes more efficient.

    This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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    NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.