The National Academies

NCHRP 14-18 [Completed]

Determining Highway Maintenance Costs

  Project Data
Funds: $299,977
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Principal Investigator: James A. Maconochie
Effective Date: 4/21/2008
Completion Date: 7/30/2010

Background: Because of growing demands and resource limitations for highway maintenance, state departments of transportation (DOT) and other highway agencies often consider non-traditional means for financing and contracting these services.  For example, some state DOTs have considered the options of outsourcing and public-private partnership of some maintenance services.  However, identifying the most desirable option for a specific maintenance activity requires knowledge of the transportation agency's costs associated with such activity.  Often, some of the elements making up the total cost of an activity are not appropriately considered or, in some instances, not included.

There is no widely accepted process for determining the costs associated with performing highway maintenance if done by the transportation agency itself.  Research is needed to identify current practices, review relevant information, and develop a rational process that considers all cost elements and thus provides a realistic estimate of the costs of maintenance activities.  Such a process will help highway agencies in evaluating alternatives for performing maintenance activities and making decisions that would result in better use of resources.


Objective: The objective of this research is to develop a process for determining an agency's costs associated with performing highway maintenance.  The process shall be flexible enough that it can be applied to any specific maintenance activity.


Status: The project is complete. The final report has been received; copies have been distributed to Program sponsors (state departments of transportation).  The final report has been published as NCHRP Report 688, available at https://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/165504.aspx

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