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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 10-03 [Final (Synthesis)]

Formulating and Justifying Highway Maintenance Budgets
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

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There are three basic types of highway maintenance budgets in general use: line-item, lump-sum and program/performance. Line-item maintenance budgets are established on the basis of money instead of work to be accomplished. Lump-sum budget funds are appropriated in one lump-sum for maintenance purposes. A program budget is based on work programs which are subdivided into activities such a crack sealing or pothole patching. Justification of the maintenance budgets is based on the importance of the highway network, the demands of users and abutting property owners and the consequences of insufficient maintenance. Also needed is the development of budget tools to relate maintenance expenditures to long-term benefits, cost effective maintenance strategies and objective procedures to establish priorities among maintenance deficiencies.  The report for this topic can be purchased at http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=3477

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