The National Academies

NCHRP 14-09(3) [Completed]

Maintenance Contracting

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Research Agency: Bergstralh-Shaw-Newman, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Robert B. Newman
Effective Date: 3/12/1990
Completion Date: 9/11/1991


<P>Highway departments are challenged by increasing levels-of-service demands and the deteriorating infrastructure at a time of constrained resources (funds, equipment, materials, and personnel). As the resulting workload enlarges, the contracting of maintenance activities is being used as an alternative to the expansion of in-house resources. However, limited in-house resources may not be the only reason for engaging in contract maintenance. Decisions for contracting can also be based on such factors as the need for specialized equipment and expertise, more cost-effective procedures or techniques, better quality, public demand for new services, statutory requirements, agency policies, seasonality of work, and contractor availability.</P>

<P>Most state highway departments have gained experience in various contracting relationships with private industry and, in some instances, other governmental agencies that collectively include many aspects of performing highway maintenance. Contract maintenance has been used to perform both functional contracting (e.g., guardrail repair) and general contracting (e.g., overall maintenance of a designated highway section). Contracts for maintenance can also be based on repair, restoration, or services connected with a single project or provided over a specified period of time. Current practices used for contract development (including the decision to contract), implementation, and administration need to be collected and shared through practical guidelines for use by state highway departments.</P>

<P>The objective of this research was to prepare guidelines for the development, implementation, and administration of maintenance contracts. When formulating the original scope of work, recognition was given to the existence of <I>NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 125,</I> &quot;Maintenance Activities Accomplished by Contract.&quot; Consequently, this research was designed to extend the state of the art represented by the Synthesis and, then, based on that information, develop guidelines.</P>

<P>Research is complete, and the final report has been published as <I>NCHRP Report 344,</I> &quot;Maintenance Contracting.&quot; The report contains an assessment of current practices and provides general guidance on contracting for highway maintenance. The state-of-the-art assessment is based on data obtained from 58 highway agencies (42 states, 7 Canadian provinces, 6 counties, 1 city, and 1 regional agency), the U.S. Forest Service, and 29 contractors. The guidelines contain information and direction for deciding when and how to contract for maintenance.</P> </BODY> </HTML>]

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