How MnDOT scores and selects pavement projects
MnDOT scores stretches of highway based on a pavement need when selecting projects to include in the Capital Highway Investment Plan. The selection of pavement projects is informed by district staff, experts from MnDOT’s materials office and the Highway Pavement Management Application (HPMA). MnDOT’s approach to managing pavements follows the guidance and targets in the Transportation Asset Management Plan and the planned outcomes in the 20-year Minnesota State Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP).
MnDOT’s statewide performance measures for pavements are based on the Ride Quality Index (RQI), which uses a zero to five rating scale to measure the smoothness of driving on a road. Roads with an RQI greater than 3.0 are considered in good condition, between 2.1 and 3.0 in fair condition, and 2.0 or less in poor condition.
Pavement needs on the National Highway System (NHS) are scored and selected separately from pavement needs off the system. The allocation of funding between NHS and Non-NHS pavement needs is based on MnSHIP.
Given their complexity, utilities and other infrastructure and level of required local coordination and public involvement, MnDOT scores and prioritizes urban non-freeway/non-expressway pavement needs separately from the normal pavement scoring process. Learn more about how MnDOT scores urban pavement needs.
Once selected, MnDOT then identifies and evaluates alternatives and other needs, legal requirements, issues and opportunities in coordination with local partners, and considers public input. In the process, non-pavement work may be added to a pavement project or a pavement project may be combined with a nearby bridge project. The department follows a context-sensitive complete streets approach, which considers the needs of all users. The final project may address a substantial number of needs beyond the pavement need that precipitated the project. Projects may move years based on local coordination, project delivery, timing of other nearby construction projects, and funding shifts.
Potential pavement projects are identified by the Highway Pavement Management Application and by MnDOT district staff. Potential projects may be developed for any stretch of road, but at a minimum, potential projects are developed and scored for all roads with a Ride Quality Index (RQI) forecasted to be 2.5 or lower (Remaining Service Life=0) in year 10 of the CHIP being developed. Chip seals, patching and crack sealing are not scored.
Scoring criteria and weights
Pavement projects are scored and selected within each district.
NHS pavement scoring
|Criteria||Points Available||Scoring Rubric|
|Timing of the Improvement||60||See table below for detailed scoring information|
|Network Designation||5||Interstate – 5 points
Non-Interstate Freeway – 2 points
Other NHS – 0 points
|Traffic Volume||10||Projects with AADTs equal to or greater than 25,000 in Greater MN and 120,000 in Metro receive full points.
Below those values, points are assigned as a percent of those values rounded down to the nearest point.
Example AADT of 14,000 in Greater MN: 14,000/25,000 X 10 points = 5.6 points rounded down to 5 points.
|Truck Volume||10||Projects with HCADTs equal to or greater than 1,000 in Greater MN and 5,000 in Metro receive full points.
Below those values, points are assigned as percent of those values rounded down to the nearest point.
|Length/Miles Covered||5||< 10 roadway miles - miles/2 = points (i.e. 4 mile project gets 2 points) – round to the nearest half point
≥ 10 roadway miles - 5 points
|Other Infrastructure Needs||10||Number of condition 3 & 4 pipes:
≥ 5 – 10 points
1-4 – 5 points
0 – 0 points
Scoring project timing
For the purposes of scoring, MnDOT uses the forecasted length-weighted average RQI for the year anticipated for programming the project. Unless another year is identified for the potential project, the forecast used is for year 10 of the CHIP being developed.
|Type of Fix Assumed for Programming Purposes||RQI 0.1-0.5||RQI 0.6-1.0||RQI 1.1-1.5||RQI 1.6-2.0||RQI 2.1-2.5||RQI 2.6-3.0||RQI 3.1-3.3||RQI >3.3|
|Thin Overlay, Diamond Grinding, Minor Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation (CPR)||0 points||0 points||0 points||0 points||25 points||55 points||55 points||25 points|
|Rehab, Medium Mill and Overlay, Major CPR, Thick Overlay||20 points||25 points||50 points||60 points||60 points||50 points||20 points||0 points|
|Reconstruct, Reclaim, Cold In-Place Recycling, Regrade, Unbonded Overlay||60 points||60 points||60 points||60 points||45 points||25 points||0 points||0 points|
Non-NHS pavement scoring
|Criteria||Points Available||Scoring Rubric|
|Timing of the Improvement||60||
See table above for detailed scoring information
Projects with AADTs equal to or greater than 5,000 in Greater MN and 25,000 in Metro receive full points.
Projects with HCADTs equal to or greater than 500 in Greater MN and 1,000 in Metro receive full points.
< 10 roadway miles – miles/2 = points - round to the nearest half point
|Other Infrastructure Needs||10||
Number of condition 3 & 4 pipes:
Turnback candidate – 5 points
Factors not included in scoring
MnDOT considers a wide range of factors when selecting projects. These include considerations specific to individual projects as well as system level performance targets and guidance. Not all are included in the score.
Examples of reasons why a high-scoring project wouldn’t be picked
- Waiting to coordinate with another project
- Cost is greater than total available budget for year
- Waiting to avoid simultaneous or multiple years of detours in the same area
- Local partner not ready to participate at this time
- Project not identified or prioritized in the metropolitan transportation plan or studies (for projects within MPO planning areas)
- Significant environmental process needs to be completed or more work needed to identify and resolve environmental constraints
Examples of reasons why a lower-scoring project would be picked
- Model’s RQI forecast doesn’t reflect on the ground conditions or expectations
- Ongoing maintenance concerns
- City, county or tribal government has funding for a specific year
- Turnback agreement in place
- To coordinate with the timing of another MnDOT or local project