New research illustrates maximizing state infrastructure funds

Source: Portland Cement Association

The effective and efficient use of three performance management tools, already partially deployed in many states, could result in significant cost savings to state departments of transportation, according to research recently commissioned by PCA.

A new white paper, “Delivering Taxpayer Value: Three Tools That Can Help Ensure a More Efficient Cost-Effective Infrastructure,” examines how three common economic, design and bidding tools, when used together, provide the best value to states and their taxpayers. The paper reviews uses of life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA), alternate design/alternate bid (ADAB) and mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG) in planning and contracting activities.

It cites examples from three states—Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri—to demonstrate potential cost savings. In Indiana, using MEPDG alone on just 23 projects saved the state more than $10 million. Although each tool can be used to stretch infrastructure funds, the greatest efficiency is realized when all the techniques are used together. “State budgets are shrinking as infrastructure needs are increasing,” said PCA CEO & President Brian McCarthy. “A few states already implement one or two of these tools, and this paper clearly illustrates how using them together allows states to do more with the money they have. To not fully utilize these tools is to misuse millions of taxpayer dollars.”

Key to the cost savings is how these tools address inefficiencies throughout the current transportation bidding process. Each of these techniques brings to light the full, long-term project costs from the onset. The white paper can be found at PCA’s website.