HIGHWAY COSTS AS A FACTOR IN ENGINEERING NEEDS ESTIMATES

HIGHWAY NEEDS STUDIES INCLUDE AN ANALYSIS OF THE PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF HIGHWAY SYSTEMS OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS AND PROVIDES: (1) BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE REVENUE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE HIGHWAY NET- WORK, METHODS OF FINANCING INCLUDING TAXING AND EQUITY DETERMINATIONS, AND METHODS FOR ALLOCATING FUNDS BETWEEN THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENTAL UNITS AND THE VARIOUS ROAD AND STREET SYSTEMS, (2) FOR A SPECIFIC PLANNING PURPOSE THE PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE ROAD AND STREET PLANT, BOTH IN TERMS OF CONSTRUCTION AND OF MAINTENANCE NEEDED TO PROVIDE THE DESIRED LEVEL OF TRAFFIC SERVICE OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS, (3) A FACTUAL BASIS FOR THE SCHEDULING OF WORKS SO THAT PROJECTS CAN BE UNDERTAKEN TO MEET PRIMARY NEEDS FIRST AND TO PERMIT ORDERLY LONG-RANGE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM, AND (4) AN ALMOST INEXHAUSTABLE SOURCE OF DATA FOR RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS IN AREAS SUCH AS INVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS, FINANCE POLICY, COST-BENEFIT STUDIES, AND SYSTEMATIC PROGRAMMING. SIX CLASSES OF COSTS ENTER DIRECTLY INTO HIGHWAY ENGINEERING NEEDS ESTIMATES: (1) COSTS FOR CONSTRUCTING THE NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING RIGHT-OF-WAY AT IDENTIFIABLE LOCATIONS AND TO SPECIFIC STANDARDS, (2) FUTURE REPLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS MUST BE ESTIMATED TO DERIVE THE LONG TERM TOTAL NEEDS, (3) TEMPORARY CAPITAL EXPENDITURES DESIGNED TO HOLD THE EXISTING FACILITY IN SERVICE UNTIL THE PROPER TYPE OF IMPROVEMENT CAN BE CONSTRUCTED MUST BE INCORPORATED INTO THE TOTAL COSTS, (4) MAINTENANCE NEEDS, (5) ENGINEERING COSTS, AND (6) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS. IN ALL HIGHWAY COST ELEMENTS, BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT, THE GENERAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART. FOR ENGINEERING STUDIES, CURRENT LEVELS ARE GENERALLY USED PERMITTING DIRECT ADJUSTMENT OF DIRECT COSTS AS THE FUTURE UNFOLDS. A SAFEGUARD IN THE ESTIMATING PROCESS IS A SYSTEM OF CHECKS AGAINST VARIOUS INDICES RELATING COSTS TO TRAVEL, POPULATION, AND A COMPARISON OF THE AVERAGE COSTS WITH THE CLASSIFIED HISTORICAL DATA. CONTINUED RESEARCH IS VITAL TO THE MANY PROBLEMS OF REFINEMENT OF ESTIMATES, TO MEANS OF TESTING THEIR VALIDITY, TO STUDY OF THE ECONOMIC RELATIONS AND COST-BENEFIT ANALYSES WHICH ARE ESSENTIAL TO ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDARDS OF MAINTENANCE, LOCATION AND DESIGN. THE DISCUSSERS DISCUSS MEANS OF OBTAINING MAINTENANCE COSTS. COSTS THAT ARE USED FOR A NEEDS STUDY COULD REQUIRE THE INTEREST TO BE INCLUDED ON A JUSTIFICATION BASIS. HOWEVER, IN COST ALLOCATION STUDIES INTEREST CAN NOT BE INCLUDED AS SOMETHING TO BE RECOVERED FROM THE INVESTORS BECAUSE TAXPAYERS ARE ACTUALLY THE INVESTORS WHO FOREGO THE INTEREST. A BENEFIT-COST RATIO OF 1 OR LESS THAN 1 IS RECOMMENDED.

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN HIGHWAY PROGRAMMING, LOCATION AND DESIGN: WORKSHOP CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS, SEPTEMBER 17, 1959
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00200996
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 26 1970 12:00AM