Home Skip to main content

Project Details

Title:Incorporating Maintenance Costs and Considerations into Highway Design Decisions
Principal Investigators:Juan C. Medina
University:University of Utah
Grant #:DTRT13-G-UTC38 (MAP21)
Project #:MPC-493
RH Display ID:15818
Keywords:cost effectiveness, highway design, highway maintenance, life cycle costing, strategic planning


The strategic plan of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Design includes goals related to incorporating costs and impacts associated with maintenance activities into design decisions. These goals include: 1) develop costeffective solutions for delivering projects that minimize the operational and maintenance resources needed to sustain system effectiveness and functionality; and 2) support efforts to enhance the involvement of construction, maintenance, and operations personnel in the design phase of project delivery. Maintenance costs, while significant throughout the life-cycle of a project, may sometimes be underrepresented as inputs to design decisions. Important considerations may include the frequency and intensity of routine maintenance activities associated with highway and street features and materials, as well as the selection of physical highway and street dimensions to support all types of future maintenance activities and associated temporary traffic control. Maintenance activities for bridges, pavement, and drainage infrastructure are very significant budget items influenced by initial design decisions. In terms of roadway geometric features, maintenance costs and considerations may be particularly relevant to decisions related to cross section allocation, roundabouts, intersection channelization, curb returns, raised medians, indirect left-turn and U-turn treatments, vertical clearance, and pedestrian/bicyclist accommodation. Roadside features such as barriers, sidewalks, signal supports, lighting, and signs (and any related ADA characteristics associated with these features) also have significant maintenance needs. This research project will examine possible policies, procedures, and practices for including life-cycle maintenance costs and other maintenance considerations into highway design decisions.

Project Deliverables

Project Word Files

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050