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Federal Highway Administration
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Washington, DC 20590

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Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Software

Thank you for your interest in the FHWA's pavement design life-cycle cost analysis software, RealCost. product. This software provides a tool to perform LCCA for pavement selection in accordance with FHWA best practice methods. These best practices are outlined in the FHWA's "Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Primer," and the software methodology is fully documented in the FHWA's "Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Technical Bulletin," publication number FHWA-SA-98-079. Both of these documents are available in electronic format on the FHWA's LCCA website (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/lcca/).

RealCost is a Microsoft® Excel® based tool developed by FHWA and the version currently in production is Realcost 3.0.

System Compatibility

RealCost 3.0 was developed for and tested in:

  • Microsoft® Windows 10 Operating System.
  • Microsoft® Excel® for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2202) 32-bit and 64-bit.

Download Agreement

By downloading the software, users agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • FHWA does not provide user assistance or support for this software.
  • The application of this software is the responsibility of the user. It is imperative that the responsible engineer understands the potential accuracy limitations of the program results, independently cross checks those results with other methods, and examines the reasonableness of the results with engineering knowledge and experience.
  • There are no expressed or implied warranties.

I agree to these conditions when downloading the software.


The compressed RealCost_3_0.zip file contains the RealCost 3.0 Excel Workbook, a Readme file, and dependent files. Please see the Readme.txt for information on setting up RealCost on your computer.

Supporting Materials

Demo Videos

Updated: 06/28/2023
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000