Pavement Assessment - PCI, IRI, EIEIO

Posted: October 09, 2018


Roads are one of a municipality’s most expensive asset classes. There are a lot of options when it comes to evaluating pavement, and it can be a challenge to figure out which measurements are most usefulto long term planning. Two acronyms that show up most often are PCI and IRI.

PCI, or Pavement Condition Index, is a rating of the surface condition. It takes into account cracks, potholes, bumps and sags, weathering, bleeding, and a variety of other characteristics. Roads are rated on a 0 – 100 scale, with 100 being a perfect condition road. Ontario’s asset management legislation (O. Reg. 588/17) requires a PCI rating for all surface treated roads by 2021.  

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IRI, or International Roughness Index, uses driving comfort to evaluate road condition. The test is based on a vehicle speed of 80 km/h, and works well for evaluating the driving characteristics of high-speed roadways. IRI does not detect smaller cracks, and will generally ignore them until they become sizable. IRI is well suited to evaluating highways, but not particularly well suited to evaluating local and arterial roads with lower speed limits.

For municipal use, PCI has emerged as the most effective and useful measure for road condition. It works well on all road classifications, including low-speed local roads and higher speed expressways. Part of the evaluation process for the LAS Road Assessment Service involved looking at the different measures available, which concluded that PCI was the standard most widely used in the municipal sector.   

Under our Service, our partner (StreetScan Inc.) uses a combination of technologies to evaluate PCI, including 3D ground facing cameras, a front facing ‘driver eye view’ camera, and rear downward facing HD camera.
 
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This data is combined to create a PCI rating that is accurate and objective. 

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For municipalities, having quality inventory of their road network’s PCI is incredibly useful to ensure maintenance and repair budgets are spent as efficiently as possible. Municipalities can set targets based on a PCI rating, allowing for long term planning and budgeting. Roads can be tracked over time to quantify the impact of severe weather or large construction projects. 

For more information on the LAS Road and Sidewalk Assessment Service contact Tanner at tswatt@amo.on.ca.
 

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