BACKGROUND: Asset management principles are used by state departments of transportation (DOTs) to operate, maintain, upgrade, and expand physical assets effectively throughout their lifecycle. These principles include (1) establishing high-level policy goals and objectives, (2) developing performance measures to accomplish the goals and objectives, (3) analyzing options and tradeoffs for investment strategies, (4) making decisions based on quality information and data, and (5) monitoring outcomes to provide accountability and feedback. A key component of such a strategy is the identification of important maintenance features that make up highway infrastructure and the establishment of a level-of-service target for each. Such targets have often been established based on expert opinion of individuals and not necessarily following a systematic process. In general, level of service is defined in terms related to customer service, such as safety, convenience, aesthetics, comfort, or mobility. However, there are no widely accepted methodologies for determining the appropriate levels of service associated with the condition of the different assets. Research was needed to identify methodologies and develop a guide for selecting target levels of service for maintaining and operating highway assets. Such a guide will help highway agencies better utilize asset management principles and manage highway assets more effectively.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research was to develop a guide for selecting level-of-service targets for maintaining and operating highway assets.
Project is complete. The "Guide to Level of Service Target setting for Highway Assets" prepared as part of the final deliverable has been summarized in NCHRP Research Results Digest 396: Approach to Level-of-Service Target Setting for Highway Assets. The digest and three other documents prepared as part of project deliverable (the contractor’s Guide to Level-of-Service Target Setting for Highway Assets, the contractor’s final report for NCHRP Project 14-25, and an Excel spreadsheet tool) are available at