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Superseded by the 10/08/04 Preventive Maintenance Eligibility Memo

Subject: Information: Preventive Maintenance
Revision to 23 U.S.C. 116
Date: March 21, 1996
From: Director, Office of Engineering
Reply to:
Attn. of:
To: Regional Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Program Administrator

The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 expanded the eligibility that had been provided in the 1991 ISTEA for preventive maintenance activities. Specifically, the NHS Act amended Title 23, Section 116 entitled, "Maintenance" by adding the following new paragraph:

(d) PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE - A preventive maintenance activity shall be eligible for Federal assistance under this title if the State demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the activity is a cost-effective means of extending the useful life of a Federal-aid highway.

Our previous policy regarding preventive maintenance activities focused specifically on the Interstate System. By incorporating the term "Federal-aid highways," Congress has broadened the eligibility of such activities to include all highways deemed eligible for Federal assistance except those "... highways classified as local road or rural minor collectors." Congress' acknowledgment of preventive maintenance activities as an eligible activity on any Federal-aid funded highway project is a logical step that reinforces the importance of implementing a continuing preventive maintenance program.

Considerable flexibility remains so that each State, in cooperation with the division office and based on sound engineering analysis, can determine the most cost-effective strategies for extending the service life of existing pavements, bridges, and essential highway appurtenances on Federal-aid highways.

The previous guidance on preventive maintenance programs and eligibility which was contained in the Associate Administrator for Program Development's memorandums of May 21 and July 27,1992, and the Executive Director's memorandums of June 14 and October 12, 1993, regarding the Interstate Maintenance (IM) program and preventive maintenance activities will remain in effect. Copies of these memorandums are attached for your reference.

We are planning to consolidate these memorandums into a single policy at some time in the future. However, until that consolidated policy is issued, the same criteria should be used for approval of preventive maintenance projects on Federal-aid highways as was used for approval of projects on the Interstate System. These memorandums have provided guidance on a number of related issues such as implementing the IM program, establishing eligibility requirements for various maintenance activities, and restating our longstanding policy regarding the consideration of safety and geometric considerations during the development of federally funded 3R projects.

Questions regarding the attached memorandums and preventive maintenance activities, in general, should be directed to Mr. Jesse Story, Highway Operations Division, 202/366-4847.

/s/ Stanley Gordon for
Gerald L. Eller

4 Attachments

Updated: 06/27/2017
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