Convincing the Stakeholders: Developing a Guide for Communicating Maintenance and Preservation Needs

As transportation budgets remain stagnant or fall and tax dollars become scarcer, legislatures search for ways to reduce spending while preserving public support for government programs. The trend of funding maintenance and preservation operations last has lead to a nationwide deterioration of our highway system. Maintenance and preservation of bridges, pavements, and other roadway appurtenances have been shown by some agencies to have an enormous effect on the performance and life of the transportation infrastructure, saving millions of dollars in reconstruction and traveler delays. Being able to communicate these effects more effectively to elected officials, decision makers, other stakeholders, and the public would lead to better understanding of these programs. There is an opportunity to communicate more effectively the impacts of maintenance and preservation of the nation's infrastructure to elected officials, decision makers, other stakeholders and the public and thereby build support for funding to maintain the nation's highway infrastructure. Some examples of such communication may be found in the literature (for example, work done at Iowa State University and by the Portland, Oregon, Office of Transportation.) This research to be undertaken would address such issues as improving communications about the technical/economic impacts of maintenance and system preservation between agency staff, elected officials, and the public using simple-to-understand principles which convey the message; developing guides with graphics and photos which display condition data and the consequences of delayed response to maintenance concerns; preserving institutional knowledge within agencies through documentation of treatment types and benefits, training of methods to track and report condition as well as training on methods of treatments and best practices and succession planning; establishing a guide of best practices on how to maintain or improve communication between local, state, and federal government agencies, toll authorities, and other highway owners; identifying industry organizations such as contractors, consultants, and trade associations that can help to communicate the message of maintenance and preservation activities to the public; educating engineering consultants and other designers on the benefits of including maintenance and preservation techniques in design and maintenance of roadway assets; and promoting development of transportation system preservation to the academic community. The objective of this research would be to develop a guide to best practices on how to maintain or improve communication with local, state, and federal government agencies; toll authorities; and other highway owners. The research to accomplish this objective might include the following tasks: (1) identify best practices and successes in communicating the message of maintenance and preservation, studying marketing strategies that exist throughout the United States and around the world as part of asset management, including various infrastructure assets; (2) develop a guide on how to market maintenance and preservation treatments including case studies, pictures, and illustrations of successful marketing campaigns, and recommendations on reaching senior agency executives, legislators, contractors, consultants, trade organizations, academics, and the general public; (3) deliver training workshops on marketing practices, including examples from successful case studies, and develop a mechanism to evaluate workshop effectiveness; (4) develop guidelines on how an agency can create succession planning and preserve institutional knowledge about maintenance and preservation in an agency through documentation of treatment types and benefits, and training of methods to track and report condition; include best practices on training methods for preservation treatments types.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 14-24

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Lemer, Andrew

  • Start Date: 20100615
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26495

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463913
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 14-24
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:32PM