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Cost-Effectiveness Study of the Pavement Warranty Program in Mississippi

PI: Dr. Yan Qi

Institute for Multimodal Transportation

Jackson State University


More and more state highway agencies have adopted pavement warranty programs in their project contracting to foster contractor innovation, enhance pavement performance, reduce agency costs, and preserve pavement construction investment. Since no standard specification was available for conducting pavement warranty projects, those states who implemented warranty programs developed their own specifications or guidelines, which varied among the states. Several states already conducted studies to evaluate the effectiveness of their warranty programs, and so far inconsistent findings have been reported from different states. The MDOT has adopted its pavement warranty program and awarded 18 warranty projects since 2000. Although a preliminary study was done to compare the performance and costs of warranty versus non-warranty pavements, no comprehensive cost-effectiveness evaluation of the warranty program has been conducted in Mississippi.

This research will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of MDOT’s warranty projects. Through a thorough review of the known experiences in other states, the research team will contemplate on the best practices in pavement warranty contracting.  Using the available pavement management system (PMS) and cost data for warranty and non-warranty projects, statistical and economic analyses will be performed to compare the performance and costs of the two contracting procedures and assess the cost-effectiveness of warranty contracts against non-warranty projects. Based on the study, the research will provide suggestions for MDOT to adopt more cost-effective procedures in future warranty practices, yield recommendations to the modification of current warranty provisions and the performance assessment of warranted pavements, and lay a basis upon which criteria of selecting warranty projects could be developed.