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Transportation Asset Management Case Studies
LCCA: The Colorado Experience

4. What Has Colorado Learned?

In the 30 years that CDOT has implemented Life-Cycle Cost Analysis, the agency has gained valuable insight into both the use of technology and the importance of human skills in the LCCA process. Among the lessons CDOT wishes to share with other States are:

  • A vocal advocate within the leadership of the organization is useful to champion a clear vision and facilitate the process.
  • Involving contractor representatives from relevant industries helps clarify issues and promotes buy-in.
  • Including other transportation-related offices in LCCA training sessions deepens the use of this practice across the organization. (For example, CDOT middle management is analyzing how pavement LCCA may be applied to selection of culvert types.)
  • Since CDOT uses LCCA to determine pavement type, and that affects construction cost, LCCA gives the agency some control over escalating costs because it creates an examination of competing options. The unit cost of material seems to be higher in areas where only one type of pavement has historically been used.
  • Pavement performance is better predicted by data from the pavement management system than from subjective surveys.

In general terms, CDOT has found that the use of LCCA allows the agency to better accomplish its mission and serve the public more effectively. CDOT has demonstrated that the use of LCCA can be cost effective. As a result, the State's transportation officials hope other CDOT offices will also be encouraged to adopt LCCA methods.

In implementing and institutionalizing LCCA, CDOT has taken advantage of a number of available State and Federal resources. In particular, it has participated in training offered by FHWA's Office of Asset Management on a variety of topics including pavement management and the use of both deterministic and probabilistic methods of LCCA analysis. [See Table 2, FHWA Training Related to Pavement Management.]

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Updated: 11/14/2012