GSA LPOE United States Border Crossing

HVJ Completes 2.6 Million Square Feet of Pavement Management Analysis Across 9 Sites of Busy Border Crossings in Texas

Project Background

Pavement Management Analysis for 10-Year Budget and Maintenance Planning

A Land Port of Entry (LPOE), more commonly known as a border crossing station, controls entry into or departure from the United States. The General Services Administration (GSA) operates more than half of these Land Ports of Entry.

HVJ’s expertise was needed when the GSA recognized that LPOEs in the Southwest Region had pavement in critical need of repair and maintenance. HVJ’s job was to inventory, inspect and score 2.6 million square feet of pavement at these border crossing stations as part of the GSA’s large-scale rehabilitation plan. HVJ assigned ratings to all the pavement to provide the GSA with objective and crucial information to make decisions for a 10-year pavement and budget plan.

Our client, Cushing Terrell provided vital communication and input on the project based on their experience with similar types of asset management projects and engineering services. The vision brought by our client was critical in keeping the focus on developing the right solution for the project.

Practice: Civil/Pavement Engineering

Sector: Roads

Location: Texas

Services: Pavement Management System Implementation and Analysis

Busy Border Crossing in Texas

The Problem

Land Ports of Entry have thousands of crossings each day, with lots of trucks. This heavy use results in pavement distress and deterioration. The GSA needed a systematic and objective analysis of the pavement at multiple ports. This analysis was necessary for them to make decisions about rehabilitation priorities and to plan their future budgets.

The Goal

Our objective was to provide a reliable, timely and thorough assessment of the condition of the 2.6 million square feet of pavement at nine LPOE’s in Texas, and then combine results from all sites to recommend a comprehensive solution.

We scored the pavement on multiple categories, then used the scores to provide recommendations and various “what if” scenarios for rehabilitation options, budget estimates, and future condition predictions for a 10-year timeframe.  This provided GSA with the overall funding needs and prioritization options to maintain and improve the pavement condition.

The process had to be completed safely, quickly, and without disrupting busy border crossing operations. With thousands of crossing per day, an accident can back up and delay commercial and private users for hours. This is very costly and safety working in these areas must be carefully planned.

The Solution

The first step was an inventory at all nine ports to determine the amount and type of pavement. Using aerial photography, processed using GIS software, we recorded and documented the pavement in its current state. We referenced original blueprints which outlined the pavement plans and verified the pavement thickness, materials, and structures. This initial inventory provided a clear understanding of which pavement the GSA owned and was responsible for maintaining.

The next step was to assess the condition of the pavement. There are multiple categories that we use to evaluate performance and determine repair needs, including:

  • Roughness or irregularities in the surface
  • Distress, such as cracking or potholes
  • Ruts, or grooves worn into the road

During the assessment, we subdivided each paved area and assigned a score to each of these categories individually. The nationally recognized PAVERTM7 software based on the condition survey methods in ASTM D6433 – 11 had been selected by the GSA for this project. A starting score of 100 represents the pavement condition index (PCI) pavement which is brand new and in perfect condition. Points are deducted points for each defect, which provides an objective comparison of pavement quality across all nine ports.

We input this scoring data into a the PAVERTM7 software program that calculates “what if” scenarios for cost, repair options, and projected needs over ten years. We recommended a variety of rehabilitation options based on cost-effectiveness, specific problems identified and prevention of future problems.

Through this process, we provided the GSA with the information they needed to make both short and long-term decisions about the pavement at these nine ports. We presented a large amount of data in a manner that made it easy for decision-makers to understand the information, obtain buy-in, and make decisions about the repair plan and budget recommendations. Our final presentation was very well-received by the client and the project was executed efficiently, safely, and did not disrupt traffic flow or port operations.

“HVJ proved their expertise in providing pavement assessments for this project as well as providing excellent recommendations and consulting.”

Zach Graham
Cushing Terrell

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