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The big picture

Whole life cost analysis provides a holistic, long-term approach to planning road maintenance, with benefits for industry, users and the environment.

The estimated total value of roads in the European Union is EUR 8,000 billion. Keeping this crucial asset in good working condition through planned maintenance is no easy task. In light of restricted budgets, there will be more focus on increasing road efficiency, and therefore an emphasis on maintenance, road performance and asset preservation.

Carrying out regular road condition surveys and planned maintenance is an effective means of managing Europe’s road infrastructure. Many factors must be taken into consideration for the best strategies to be implemented.

In this Guide, we explore whole life costing and how it can be used to maximise the lifespan of roads using the most economical approach possible. 

What is whole life costing?

The aim of whole life costing is to determine the total cost of ownership of an asset. This is done  by calculating the direct and indirect costs that may occur during the asset's lifecycle. As a result, decision makers have a source of information that allows them to compare various maintenance strategies and determine the most economical option over a defined period. 

Benefits of whole life costing

  • Evaluate maintenance options over a defined period of time
  • Increase awareness of the lifecycle costs of different maintenance options
  • Demonstrate the long-term performance and economic implications of alternative treatment strategies and funding levels