Quality of Road Maintenance Work Performed by State Force versus Private Contractors in Nevada

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Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction






In the United States, state departments of transportation (DOTs) use primarily state force (SF) or private contractors to maintain road systems. Private contractors are contracted under method-based contracting (MBC) or performance-based contracting (PBC). Limited research has been conducted to assess the quality of road-maintenance work performed by private contractors. In this study, with the help of a national survey of state DOTs, questionnaire responses from road users, and on-site visits, the quality of three road-maintenance activities - chip seal, striping, and street sweeping - was assessed. The results show that the quality of chip seal performed by the SF was significantly better than that performed by private contractors. On the basis of the survey of road users, for the activity of striping, the work performed by private contractors was significantly higher in quality than work done by the SF. For the activity of street sweeping, the road user and the nationwide DOT surveys showed that SFs significantly outperformed private contractors. The results of this study will help state DOTs identify the respective maintenance activities that should be performed using SFs and private contractors. © 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers.



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