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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24933.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24933.
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Page 2

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1 S U M M A R Y The consequences of delayed maintenance usually are underestimated, or not fully con- sidered, in the asset management process. One major reason for this is the lack of a practical framework and procedures to objectively quantify these consequences. The objective of NCHRP Project 14-20A, “Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets,” was to develop a set of procedures for quantifying the consequences of delayed maintenance of highway assets. The research study was divided into two phases. In Phase I, a general frame- work was developed and applied to prepare procedures for pavements and bridges. The general framework involves three main steps: (1) define the asset preservation policy; (2) determine maintenance and budget needs; and (3) conduct analyses of delayed main- tenance scenarios. In Phase II, procedures for culverts, guardrails, lighting, pavement markings, and highway signs were prepared. The procedures describe the processes, methods, and analytical tools to assist agencies in making better-informed investment decisions for the preservation of the highway system. In general terms, delayed maintenance can be defined as work needed to preserve the highway system but postponed in the agency’s maintenance program. This definition can be applied to all the highway asset groups examined: pavements, bridges, culverts, guardrails, lighting, pavement markings, and signs, although it is understood that each asset group has unique maintenance policies, condition assessment, deterioration rates, service life, and life- cycle costs. The consequences of delayed maintenance have been quantified by comparing the outcomes of a preferred preservation policy established by the agency with the outcomes of delayed maintenance scenarios. The information used to show the consequences of delayed maintenance includes: asset condition, remaining service life, agency costs in terms of the bud- get needs and backlogged costs, and asset value. Examples in this report illustrate the applica- tion of the general framework to the various asset groups. The scenario analysis results show the following effects: decreases of asset group condition over time; decreases of asset groups’ remaining life; increases in agency costs in future years to recover the desired level of service; increases in backlogged costs over time; and decreases in asset value over time. It is recognized that the analytical tools available for varying asset groups differ in matu- rity depending on the asset group. Most pavement and bridge management systems are well established and can manage the asset inventory, track condition, and forecast perfor- mance adequately to recommend work activities. Management systems for other highway assets may be limited to producing a list of asset inventory. The least mature systems may not even offer a complete inventory, whereas more mature systems can support trade-off analyses and model life-cycle activities. The general framework developed in this research is flexible enough to be adapted to the maturity level of the asset management system used by the agency. Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets

2 Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets The examples provided in this study are intended to be representative of typical state highway agencies. Agencies with sufficient data can follow the step-by-step procedures to develop estimates of the effects of delaying maintenance. Agencies lacking detailed data may use the examples to guide them in adopting simplified models to obtain an initial estimate of representative effects of delaying maintenance. The procedures and examples presented in this report reflect the following tasks under- taken in NCHRP Project 14-20A: an information and literature review of relevant docu- ments; online surveys to complement available knowledge of the current state of practice; telephone interviews of staff at selected state highway agencies; and analyses of maintenance scenarios. Agencies can apply the developed procedures using the methods and tools that best fit the preservation policies, maintenance resources, and performance standards they have estab- lished for each highway asset group. The ultimate goal is to integrate the procedures developed for individual asset groups into a general set of asset management goals and objectives, thus improving communication across management levels about the consequences of delaying maintenance.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 859: Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets presents a process for quantifying the consequences of delayed maintenance of highway assets that considers the asset preservation policy, the maintenance and budget needs, and the analyses of delayed maintenance scenarios. This process considers delayed maintenance caused by the inability to meet the agency-defined application schedule or the unavailability of the funds required to perform all needed maintenance, and expresses the consequences in terms of asset condition and the costs to owners and road users. Detailed descriptions of the use of the proposed process to quantify the consequences of delayed maintenance for seven highway assets are available in appendices from the contractor’s final report:

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