Consequences of Delayed Maintenance
Various maintenance treatments are employed by highway agencies to slow deterioration and restore condition of highway pavements, bridges, 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 are not readily available. Research is needed to develop such processes. This information will help highway agencies better assess the economic benefits of maintenance actions and their role in enhancing the level of service of the highway system. In addition, incorporating these processes in asset management systems would provide a means for optimizing the allocation of resources. The objective of this research is to develop a process for quantifying the consequences of delayed application of maintenance treatments. The process shall be applicable to highway pavements, bridges, and other physical assets. Consequences shall be expressed in terms of performance indicators (e.g., distress and level of service), costs to owners and road users, and other relevant factors. Delayed maintenance applications may be defined by (1) the inability to meet the agency-defined application schedule or (2) the available budget relative to an unconstrained budget (i.e., availability of the funds required to perform all needed maintenance).