ITD’s 14-member Research Advisory Council recently selected 11 new projects for funding, including three pooled fund projects, and is looking for alternatives to conducting four other projects, said Research Program Manager Ned Parrish.
Council members, representing a cross-section of ITD disciplines, met in September and chose a six-month evaluation of commercially-available pavement and maintenance management systems as the department’s highest priority. The project, “Evaluation of ITD Automated System Needs for Pavement Management, Maintenance Management and GIS,” is estimated to cost $100,000. Chief Engineer Steve Hutchinson and Matt Moore, administrator of the Division of Planning and Programming sponsored the proposal.
ITD is responsible for approximately 5,000 centerline miles of paved highway, including 612 centerline miles of interstate. The highways represent a substantial investment to the state and are critical to Idaho’s economic well-being, according to the proposal’s needs statement. Managing and maintaining this infrastructure has gotten more complex while funds available to support these programs have become scarcer.
The proposal will:
Results of the research will help department management in determining which options for improving pavement management, maintenance management and GIS are most cost effective. It also will help inform decisions about which systems are best suited to meet the department’s needs.
The goal is to incorporate findings in time for recommendations to be considered by management in preparation of the ITD budget request for Fiscal Year 2010 (late March through May 2008).
Parrish said the council will meet again next spring to consider another round of project funding.