For purposes that include oversight and accountability, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the General Accountability Office continue to emphasize the need for regular systemwide monitoring of transportation infrastructure performance in response to system expenditures. To address this issue, it is necessary to ascertain the nature of the relationship between the funds expended on a jurisdiction’s infrastructure system preservation and the resulting performance. Duly recognizing past research efforts in this direction, this paper investigates such a relationship specifically for interstate highway pavements. This is an aggregate analysis and therefore does not consider site-specific design variables. Acknowledging that there exist jurisdiction-specific variables besides spending amounts that affect interstate pavement performance, this paper removes some of this bias by incorporating the system size as a normalizing variable and by considering state-specific values of the key deterioration variables, including the average traffic load intensity and climatic severity. Using data spanning 2000–2008 and lagged panel model specifications, this paper quantifies the expenditure–performance connection and uses the resulting model parameters to develop, for interstate pavements in the various states, an overall index of performance that considers normalized values of the pavement condition, preservation expenditure, climatic severity, and traffic load. The paper offers plausible explanations of the observed differences in the resulting overall performance across the states. Ultimately, the framework and results of this paper can help oversight agencies in their bid to foster overall accountability for taxpayer dollars expended on their infrastructure.
© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers