Cost Effectiveness of the MDOT Preventive Maintenance Program

Sponsor: Michigan Department of Transportation

PI: Timothy Colling

The Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) pavement preservation program dates back to 1992. MDOT’s pavement preservation strategy is primarily implemented through its capital preventive maintenance (CPM) program, in which preventive maintenance treatments are used to protect existing pavement surfaces, slow deterioration, and correct surface deficiencies. An overall objective of the CPM program is to postpone major rehabilitation and reconstruction activities by extending the service life of pavements.

This study evaluated the benefits and costs of various preventive maintenance treatments used in MDOT’s CPM program. Defining the benefit as the percent increase in performance over a “do nothing” or untreated pavement performance curve, where data were available benefits were calculated for preventive maintenance treatments. Using unit costs, benefit-cost ratios were calculated, permitting the comparison of the cost-effectiveness of similar treatments. The overall performance of MDOT’s CPM program was also examined by comparing the life-cycle costs (LCC) of a rehabilitation strategy to a preservation strategy using a simplified approach. The outcome showed that the preservation strategy results in agency cost savings of approximately 25 percent per lane-mile over the rehabilitation strategy.

Findings from this study can be used to help MDOT improve its CPM project selection, treatment selection, and performance monitoring and modeling practices.

Tim Colling
Tim Colling