Long-Range Strategic Issues Affecting Preservation, Maintenance, and Renewal of Highway Infrastructure

The transportation industry will continually face new challenges that may influence transportation priorities and needs, particularly with regard to the preservation, maintenance, and renewal of the highway infrastructure. These challenges will result from long-range changes in many areas, including the following: Environment (e.g., climate change and sustainability); System performance (e.g., snow and ice control, accelerated deterioration and accountability); Safety and security; Natural resources availability; Finance and budget (e.g., global economics, contracting methods, and costs); Human resources (e.g., skills, education, and training); Coordination (e.g., among transportation modes and related industries); Regulations and policies (e.g., environmental regulation and changing role of governmental identities); Demographics (e.g., population characteristics, including urban/rural differences); Customer needs and expectations; and Traffic (e.g., loading and volume). Over the past decade, numerous advances in the materials, technologies, and processes that favorably affected preservation, maintenance, and renewal of highway infrastructure emerged, and others will certainly emerge in the next 30-50 years. For example, improved asphalt and concrete mixtures, LiDAR (light detection and ranging), global positioning system (GPS)-controlled snow plows, innovative contracting and financing methods, and accelerated bridge construction are often used in preservation, maintenance, and renewal of highway infrastructure; the next generation could see the application of nanotechnology and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). However, affordability and cost-effectiveness of these innovations will depend largely on future economic, social, political, and technology trends. There is a need for a research effort to anticipate future issues; explore the potential role of new and emerging materials, tools, approaches, and technologies in developing and preserving highway infrastructure; and develop guidance on how they can be used to enhance system preservation, maintenance, and renewal in response to anticipated challenges. This guidance will help highway agencies better anticipate and deal with the future. Recent work completed under NCHRP Project 20-83(03) provided further review of some of the long-range strategic issues affecting preservation, maintenance, and renewal of highway infrastructure (see Special Note A). Research is needed to develop guidance on the use of emerging and innovative materials, tools, and approaches, and technologies to address these and other issues. The objective of this research is to develop guidance for transportation stakeholders on the application of emerging and innovative materials, tools, approaches, and technologies to deal with long-range (30 to 50 years) highway infrastructure maintenance, preservation, and renewal needs and ensure enhanced system condition and performance.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $499999
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-83(03)A

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

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

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Hanna, Amir

  • Performing Organizations:


    One Penn Plaza
    250 W 34th Street
    New York, New York  United States  10119
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mallela, Jagannath

  • Start Date: 20150518
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37525

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543195
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-83(03)A
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 12 2014 1:00AM