The approach used in “A Quick Check of Your Highway Network Health” allows the user to avoid the data intensive and time consuming effort required to synthesize highway network condition (average years of remaining service life (RSL)) by assessing thousands of component links. Instead, by working at the program level, it is simple to estimate how much network life is being initiated by annual reconstruction and rehabilitation, and extended by pavement preservation to counteract the natural attrition caused by traffic and the environment.
If the annual programs restore more than the quantity of natural attrition, the network’s health would be considered as improving. If the annual programs merely restore the quantity of natural attrition, the network’s health would be considered as being maintained without improvement. Otherwise, programs as constituted would be inadequate and the network’s health would continue to decline, and without adjustments to the programs and / or budget would lead to serious negative consequences.
The approach is also invaluable for making program tradeoffs, i.e., varying the proportions of reconstruction, rehabilitation, and preventive maintenance within budgetary constraints to maximize the improvement in network health.