Skip to main content


Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
09/01/2012 - 03/31/2014
Principal Investigators
Project Status

Over a trillion dollars is invested in the nation's mostly aging infrastructure through various bonds and public funds. Most of that is spent on new construction and replacement of old infrastructure. It can be convincingly argued that it would be more cost effective over the long term to spend a good portion of these investments in taking a proactive course in managing the maintenance processes of the infrastructure rather than waiting and being forced to merely reacting to disruptive incidences. The importance of a proactive maintenance management policy becomes more pronounced when considering a vital transportation system such as that of highways networks and bridges. This importance emanates from the fact that an unexpected failure of a component of one of these complex systems usually creates disruptions which could have cascading effects leading not only to havoc and its consequences of inconveniencies, but also to major economic effects requiring colossal expenditure to contain the damages incurred from such premature failures.

Various maintenance treatments are employed by transportation agencies to slow deterioration and restore condition of pavements, bridges, culverts, signs and other physical assets. However, budget constraints and other factors have often led to delaying or eliminating the application of these treatments. Such actions are expected to adversely influence the condition and performance and lead to a reduced level of service, to early deterioration, and eventually to the need for costly rehabilitation or replacement. Analytical tools are currently available to quantify the consequences of delayed application of maintenance treatments for highway pavements, bridges, and other assets. However, processes for using these tools to demonstrate the potential savings and performance enhancement resulting from applying maintenance treatments at the right time and also optimum allocation of funds are not readily available. Hence research is needed to develop such process. This information will help highway agencies better assess the economic benefits of maintenance actions and their role in enhancing the level of service of transportation infrastructure. In addition, incorporating these processes in asset management systems would provide a means for optimizing the allocation of resources.


Hence in this research a methodology is developed for optimum time and also optimum allocation of funds to rehabilitate or replace transportation infrastructure based on performance and user costs. Then the above is applied to two types of major transportation infrastructure (pavements both asphalt and concrete and drainage including culverts) to validate the methodology and also coupling of two infrastructure types. Eventually is the intension of applying to all transportation infrastructure types (bridges both steel and concrete, and signs/lights) and their interactions in order to develop a program for use by transportation agencies. The proposed research is one of SCOPE OF PROPOSAL Optimum Fund Allocations to Rehabilitate Transportation Infrastructure 2 the UTRC Strategic Goal (second focus area), State of Good Repair that describes the steps DOT will take to identify critical highway, bridge, transit, airport and railroad assets and improve their state of repair.