INSIDE THE DOT
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Guidelines for Using Economic Factors & Maintenance Costs in Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
Katie Zimmerman, Applied Pavement Technologies
This project was performed by Kathryn A. Zimmerman of Applied Pavement Technology, Inc. The panel felt that the researcher did an excellent job developing criteria for the use of economic factors such as discount rate, analysis period, initial cost, periodic cost, maintenance cost and salvage value. The results of the research are in compliance with draft FHWA guidelines on Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) and provide guidelines for the use of LCCA both on a project selection level, where the appropriate pavement type for new construction is selected, and at the enhanced Pavement Management System (PMS) level, where the benefits and costs of various rehabilitation strategies are calculated. Implementation of these results will improve accuracy of cost projections at both levels. As the project title implies, maintenance costs and their effects on life-cycle costs were a primary impetus for developing this project. Unfortunately, available maintenance cost data were unsuitable for evaluating and improving cost projections. A modified methodology for tracking maintenance costs was developed which will be compatible with LCCA projections but data is still insufficient. Suprisingly, a sensitivity analysis of the effect of maintenance costs on LCCA results indicated that they are not very significant to the process. The researcher also developed an Excel spreadsheet for calculating life-cycle costs and conducted a short course on LCCA for personnel from Materials and Surfacing and Planning and Programming.
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