Estimating Cost Per Mile for Routine Highway Operations and Maintenance

Available Documents
Quarterly Report March 2007
Quarterly Report June 2007
Quarterly Report September 2007
Quarterly Report December 2007
Quarterly Report March 2008
Quarterly Report June 2008
Quarterly Report September 2008
Quarterly Report December 2008
Quarterly Report March 2009
Quarterly Report June 2009
Quarterly Report September 2009
Quarterly Report March 2010
Quarterly Report September 2010
Final Report

Primary Investigator
Dr. Teresa Adams
University of Wisconsin-Madison
2205 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263 3175

Project Objective
The proposed study has 3 objectives:

  1. Conduct a synthesis study on the cost and budgeting procedures for routine highway maintenance at state highway agencies.
  2. Perform a correlation study to characterize the relationship between maintenance cost and maintenance condition. This includes statistical analysis and development of cost estimation models.
  3. Deliver a guideline for estimating the recurring annual cost for routine traffic operations and maintenance of highways.

Project Abstract
When transportation agencies prepare a design for new highway construction or major improvements to existing highways, the life cycle, agency, and user costs are considered in project design decisions. Yet when highway projects are completed, maintenance budgets are rarely adjusted to accommodate the routine maintenance of new lane miles.

This problem is worsened by the fact that each year the number of vehicle miles traveled per highway mile increases. Maintenance budgets do not keep pace or remain constant. The growing disparity between maintenance budgets and maintenance requirements causes agencies to make tough choices about maintenance priorities. Aside from concerns about preserving capital investment; highway operations and maintenance bureaus have concerns about safety and loss of operational efficiency due to deteriorating condition of roadways.

The research will investigate and establish relationships between cost-per-lane mile and maintenance performance. A cost model that provides a method for estimating cost-per-lane mile for an expected maintenance performance level can then be developed. With the availability of cost and performance of maintenance over multiple years, targets and effect of changes in maintenance expenditures may be explored. With the availability of operational parameters at the county, district, or region-level, a regression tree approach can be used to develop specialized models. The regression tree algorithm can be used to experiment with alternative parameters to group the counties. The regression tree method may find county, district, or region groups and the corresponding statistical models that correlate expenditures and maintenance performance. County, district, or region-level groupings are logical given different business practices of each grouping.

Task Descriptions

  1. Synthesis of Maintenance Costs and Budgeting Procedures
  2. Detail Data Collection
  3. Models to Estimate Cost per Lane Mile
  4. Prepare Guidelines for Estimating the Recurring Annual Routine Maintenance Costs

Project Information

  • Milestones, Dates: 10 months; December 14, 2006 — October 14, 2007; Extended to: December 31, 2007
  • Budget: $40,626, Matching Funds & %: $11,460 (MRUTC)
  • Student Involvement: One research assistant and one graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: 07-12