Life-Cycle Costs

Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) is one of the tools regularly used in evaluating pavement structures as part of the pavement-type selection process. LCCA examines the life-cycle cost of owning a road, including the money spent on initial construction, maintenance over its lifetime, the costs to users for their delays during maintenance and reconstruction, and the remaining service life or the value of remaining material at the end of the LCCA study period. LCCA can be a complex process that is highly dependent upon the assumptions made and the variables tested. For this reason, the results of an LCCA can inform pavement type decisions, but should not be the sole determinant.

 

To illustrate how applying data, much of which states already gather, to the LCCA process can better inform pavement type selection decision, NAPA is developing a series of factsheets and case studies about the life-cycle value provided by asphalt pavements.

 

LCCA Software & Tools

The PaveXpress suite of pavement design tools includes an LCCA module based on FHWA's RealCost LCCA tool. PaveXpress allows users to design pavement structures according to AASHTO 93/98 design formulae, as well as to conduct additional analysis and comparison of projects, including life-cycle cost analysis. The entire suite of web-based PaveXpress tools are free and continue to be updated. They are a complemented by the free PaveInstruct video tutorial series, which outlines each of the PaveXpress modules and how to use them.


The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) has also developed several LCCA resources, including free software, that uses the principles recommended by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to compare the economics of alternative designs for a given road project. The software is easy to use and unbiased, and available in two versions: LCCA Original, a comprehensive program, and LCCAExpress, geared to less-complex projects. Both are available as free downloads. Click here to download the free LCCA software.