A Framework for Monitoring Performance-Based Road Maintenance

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Virginia Tech

In the late 1980s and early 1990s few transportation agencies around the world considered performance-based specifications as an alternative to improve the efficiency of the services provided to the public. These initiatives are better known as Performance-Based Road Maintenance (PBRM). PBRM calls for performance-based work, in which a desired outcome is specified rather than a material or method. This type of specification promises to be an excellent tool to improve government efficiency in maintaining transportation networks; however, without proper monitoring, it could likely yield adverse outcomes. Since PBRM is relatively new, the availability of reliable and comprehensive sets of guidelines to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of this type of specifications in the roadway maintenance arena is limited. Transportation agencies currently rely on criteria and procedures they have had developed from their traditional methods used to evaluate performance. Unfortunately, some of these procedures cannot appropriately assess the benefits, if any, accrued by the government as a result of implementing performance-based specifications for the maintenance of the roadway system. This research presents the development of a framework for monitoring PBRM more comprehensively and accurately. The framework considers the assessment of five main areas -- Level of Service Effectiveness, Cost-Efficiency, Timeliness of Response, Safety Procedures, and Quality of Services -- in order to guarantee the comprehensiveness and reliability of the evaluation process. The major contribution of this framework is to provide transportation agencies with guidelines for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of PBRM as an alternative delivery method to maintain and preserve the roadway system.

Performance Monitoring, Safety, Performance-Based Contracting, Quality of Services, Road Maintenance, Timeliness of Response, Cost-Efficiency, Level of Service