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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-09-0058
Project Name:   Standardized Methods Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  October 1, 2009
End Date:  September 30, 2014
Contact Information
Last Name:  Sivaneswaran
First Name:  Nadarajah (Siva)
Telephone:  202-493-3147
E-mail:  nadarajah.sivaneswaran@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Infrastructure Analysis and Construction Team [HRDI-20]
Program:   Innovative Pavement Research and Deployment
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) has become an integral part of many State highway agencies' pavement design and type selection considerations. With increasing miles of our national pavement network needing major rehabilitation or reconstruction during the next several years and the significant impact construction activities have on already overstretched roadways, initial and long-term agency and user costs have become an important part pavement design and type selection process. While past efforts at Federal Highway Administration have addressed the issue of work zone user costs, a number of other related issues have not been addressed in appropriate detail and gaps remain in certain areas, such as how to handle abnormal short-term construction cost fluctuations, market conditions and discount rate, updating of financial data for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), the true remaining value of each alternative at the end of analysis period, and how stochastic analyses can best be used to address some of these difficult issues. Federal Highway Administration has been advocating LCCA and many State highway agencies have developed pavement type selection protocols mostly based on the Federal Highway Administration's Technical Bulletin on LCCA and RealCost software. However, guidelines on how to handle these issues are lacking and State highway agencies are having difficulty in using LCCA effectively to make informed decisions. A recent peer exchange meeting and site visits have raised this as one of the difficulties faced by State highway agencies in conducting LCCA. Technically and economically sound and defensible methods and guidelines to address these issues in a practical manner are needed and will be the goal of this activity.
Goals:   Life-cycle cost analysis for pavement type selection.
Product Type:   Software
Training materials
Test Methodology:   Enhance Federal Highway Administration's Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) tool, RealCost, and develop case studies and other documents for end users.
Partners:   Federal Highway Administration: Office of Infrastructure - Office of Asset Management; Role(s): Other stakeholder, Technical
Expected Benefits:   Standardized methods and guidelines will assist State highway agencies in conducting Life-Cycle Cost Analysis effectively and objectively and avoid industry concerns. Life- Cycle Cost Analysis is conducted to minimize life-cycle cost and valid life-cycle cost analysis is a must. In addition, the efforts will also contribute to the development and refinement of Federal Highway Administration policies for evaluating alternative design and contracting methods and assist the State and other transportation agencies with accurately evaluating the project design and construction alternatives based not just on costs and impacts initially, but throughout its life cycle.
Deliverables: 1. Name: RealCost User Manual
Product Type(s): Training materials, Software
Description: The deliverable is the RealCost user manual with four Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) examples: three for pavements and one for bridges.
Publication URL(s):
2. Name: Enhanced version of RealCost software for conducting bridge Life-Cycle Cost Analysis and case examples.
Product Type(s): Software
Description: Enhanced version of RealCost software for conducting bridge Life-Cycle Cost Analysis  and case examples.
Project Findings:   Economically sound methods and tools for supporting pavement type selection decision making.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Pavement and Materials
TRT Terms:   Pavement Design
FHWA Disciplines:   Pavement and Materials
Subject Areas:   Economics
Bridges and other structures


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