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Real Cost News: New Research Highlights Ways to Maximize Infrastructure Investment

June 24, 2011 Comments off

Real Cost News: New Research Highlights Ways to Maximize Infrastructure Investment
Source: Portland Cement Association

The campaign to implement life-cycle budgeting at the federal, state, and local levels announced today the findings of a new white paper, “Delivering Taxpayer Value: Three Tools That Can Help Ensure a More Efficient Cost-Effective Infrastructure.”

Written by John W. Fischer, a transportation policy consultant who spent over three decades with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the white paper examines performance management techniques – life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA), alternate design/alternate bid (ADAB), and mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) – used by state Departments of Transportation (DOT) and the construction industry to maximize taxpayer investment, efficiency, and transparency.

The paper is particularly timely, given the ongoing debate to reauthorize and reform federal surface transportation programs.

“In this time of constrained state and federal budgets, all potential sources of cost savings are important, primarily because monies unnecessarily spent on one project are, obviously, unavailable for other very necessary projects,” said Fischer.

Fischer takes the pulse of current state DOT practices in designing, planning, and building roads and highways and highlights best practices techniques – LCCA, ADAB, and MEPDG – which could help increase the effectiveness of infrastructure projects.

The study finds that these three steps, when taken together, can help to ensure that available transportation infrastructure funds are invested wisely and that roads are constructed using the highest quality materials in the most efficient way.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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