6.6.1 Categorizing and Tracking Maintenance Activities and Costs


Categorizing and Tracking Maintenance Activities and Costs

Maintenance can be performed at any stage of the asset life cycle. Some maintenance work may or may not change the measured asset condition, extend the expected asset life cycle, or reduce risk. NCHRP Report 1076: Guide for Incorporating Maintenance Costs Into a TAMP establishes five categories of maintenance work to be considered in the incorporation of maintenance costs into TAM Analyses.

Operations and Routine Maintenance

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Operational and routine maintenance activities may restore or sustain the functionality of an asset, but they do not change measured asset conditions (e.g., road patrol, mowing, and snow and ice control). These activities do not typically have a direct impact on an asset’s service life. Therefore, these are activities that are not generally considered in lifecycle planning (LCP) analysis. An absence of routine maintenance may increase the likelihood of some risks, as the performance of these tasks is typically assumed as part of the highway design process (Allen, et. al. 2023).

Preventive Maintenance

As the name indicates, preventive maintenance prevents or addresses deterioration to delay a decline in measured conditions but does not significantly improve conditions. Common examples include crack seal, chip seal, sweeping, drain cleaning, bridge washing (Allen, et. al. 2023).


Repairing damage or deterioration improves the measurable asset condition and restores function but does not restore or improve structure, capacity, or functionality. Examples of repairs include milling and inlaying pavement, bridge deck repairs, and bridge member repairs. These activities may include replacement of parts but not major components. The quantity of repair, rather than the type of activity, is what typically designates an activity as maintenance instead of rehabilitation or preservation (Allen, et. al. 2023).

Unit or Major Component Repair

Unit or component replacement goes beyond repair to remove and replace one or more individual asset components, restoring functionality for that component. Examples include sign panel replacement, striping, and traffic signal component replacement. For some assets, such as ground mounted signs, the entire asset may be replaced under a maintenance action because of the mechanism by which the replacement is delivered or funded (Allen, et. al. 2023).

Organizational Strengthening

Organizational strengthening includes activities that are not directly asset related. These activities may mitigate risk or improve organizational capacity. Examples include training, emergency preparedness, management systems and their use (Allen, et. al. 2023).