Web-based highway maintenance functions prioritizing system using analytical hierarchy process
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The Texas Department of Transportation has been experiencing maintenance budget fluctuations recently. The shortage of budget has a negative impact on the agency’s maintenance strategies and results in the undesirable deterioration of highway conditions increasing the risk towards both road users and the agency. This paper aims at developing a methodology to minimize the impact of budget fluctuation by quantifying the risk of not performing a maintenance activity and identifying the priority of maintenance activities based on the quantified risk. With the help of maintenance experts from TxDOT, four maintenance objectives and 16 maintenance function groups were identified and a hierarchy structure was developed based on the objectives and function groups. Four pilot districts were selected to represent the different demographic and climatic regions in Texas and maintenance experts were selected from the four districts to participate in the workshop. The Overall Relative Weights of 16 maintenance function groups were determined based on the individual evaluator’s judgments using the Analytical Hierarchy Process. To determine if the four pilot districts give different relative importance to the four defined objectives and different priority to the 16 maintenance groups, statistical analyses were conducted with the four sets of values, one for each of the four pilot districts, using Kruskal-Wallis test. At last, a web-based prototype system was developed to assist users in generating the list of maintenance projects under budget constraints. Exposure factors, ADT and truck volume, were applied in the system to factor in the impact of traffic to the maintenance strategy. Users of this system can choose to use the weights and parameter values from one of the pilot districts which they think is most comparable to their own district or the state average values that has been proved to be applicable to all the districts in Texas.