Description: Constrained budgets and reduced funding are causing state transportation agencies to re-evaluate spending and allocations for maintenance. Much attention is being placed on accounting for maintenance expenditures and justifying maintenance budgets. One approach is to relate highway maintenance to highway performance through maintenance quality assurance (MQA). MQA programs help decision-makers understand maintenance conditions, set priorities, and document the relationship between dollars spent and outcomes. There are guidelines available to assist in the creation of MQA programs, but no comprehensive resources on specific quantitative measures for maintenance quality. States that already have programs are interested in communication with others on how programs are used to improve expenditure decision and justify budgets. Additionally, states interested in establishing an MQA program want to know what measures to use and what others are doing. Two critical barriers for establishing and maturing MQA programs are the lack of a commonly understood set of terms for communication about MQA, and a lack of consensus on a set of commonly recognized maintenance features, characteristics and measures of maintenance performance. This report defines the essential terms necessary to discuss the concepts of highway maintenance quality assurance and presents a synthesis of the measures for maintenance quality assurance used by 26 state transportation agencies. It is expected that common terms and measures will enable agencies to better evaluate their own programs, the performance of their highways, improve communication among agencies and provide a basis for further development of MQA programs.
Submitted by: Adams, Teresa