Identifying Funding Needs for Maintenance and Preservation of Existing Transportation Assets and System Infrastructure Additions

Few agencies are adequately funded for the maintenance activities needed to keep the asset at lowest life cycle cost, particularly for ancillary assets. In addition to bridges and pavements, other assets need maintenance and preservation funding, but the needs of ancillary assets have not been investigated as thoroughly as bridges and pavements needs. Deferring appropriate preventative maintenance activities not only shortens the useful life of the asset and increases the life cycle cost, but also could lead to premature failure and potential safety and liability concerns. While many cost estimation tools exist, entities still struggle to (1) keep pace with the existing demands placed on maintenance activities, (2) illustrate the relationship of maintenance activities and extending the service life of specific assets, (3) understand and determine the cost of maintenance and preservation for additions to the transportation system, and (4) communicate in a succinct manner the additional funding needed to maintain various assets of the transportation systems to budget decision-makers. Establishing industry-wide tools will more comprehensively convey the benefits of investing in maintenance and preservation to budget decision-makers, including elected officials and senior management in agencies. These tools will not only enhance maintenance and preservation programs but also contribute to the prolonged service life of various asset classes. Research is needed to quantify and document additional funding requirements and provide information to effectively communicate these needs to decision-makers. The findings can inform the Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) and other state highway improvement plans, covering operation improvement, safety, freight, and more. The objective of this research is to develop a practical tool to accurately estimate and justify funding requirements for asset maintenance and preservation. The tool is expected to be utilized and adapted by transportation agencies to incorporate existing and future asset classes and to facilitate communication of maintenance and preservation needs to technical and nontechnical audiences. At a minimum the research shall: (1) Document current state of practice; (2) Define the relationship between maintenance activities and the impact of delayed maintenance; and (3) Develop a tool (e.g., a spreadsheet tool) to quantify the cost of annual maintenance per asset class to help agencies demonstrate the resources needed to maintain the transportation system in state of good repair and at its optimal life cycle cost. The tool shall arrive at the optimal life cycle cost by comparing different maintenance strategies and scenarios.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 19-25

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    Office of Infrastructure
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Nasri, Arefeh

  • Start Date: 20240520
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01898356
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 19-25
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 7 2023 11:54AM