NJDOT Research

NJ #
The Cost of Roadway Construction and Maintenance in New Jersey

In today’s fiscally constrained funding environment, cost efficiency in highway construction and maintenance is an important goal for transportation agencies nationwide. This research study estimated the average cost per-lane mile for roadway construction projects on State-owned roadways during a four-year analysis period; benchmarked New Jersey roadway construction costs against those of other states; identified factors that appear to influence construction costs; and identified leading practices that can improve the cost efficiency of roadway construction projects. The study found that the statewide average total project cost per lane-mile was $191,175, which is in line with costs estimated in other states. The analysis showed that projects funded using Federal funding were more expensive. Costs were also higher when projects were constructed on Interstate Highways, Other Freeways and Expressways as well as two-lane, lower-volume roads. Longer projects were much more likely to be low or very low cost while projects that were less than six miles long tended to be higher cost.
Given these findings, NJDOT should further examine projects constructed on two-lane, lower-volume, undivided roadways to determine why project costs are higher on these roads and if bid specifications can be adjusted to reduce costs. Further, NJDOT should examine how project limits are currently defined to determine if there are opportunities to extend the length of projects to increase the total lane-miles of pavement addressed in each project. This can optimize the value received from construction mobilization efforts under each contract. There are other ideas for reducing costs published by FHWA. NJDOT should work with its research partners and vendors to determine which, if any of these or other recommended leading practices related to 3R projects are not currently being used but could be adopted to reduce the cost of capital construction projects in New Jersey.

Performing Organization
Rutgers University, Voorhees Transportation Center
Key Word(s)
Highway construction costs, cost per lane-mile, factors that increase roadway construction costs

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