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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater Addresses AASHTO Annual Meeting, Announces Cost Saving Agreement With State of New Mexico

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater Addresses AASHTO Annual Meeting, Announces Cost Saving Agreement With State of New Mexico

USDOT Research & Special Projects Administration
October 3, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, October 3, 1999
Contact: Patricia Klinger
Tel: 202-366-4831
RSPA: 25-99

TULSA -- U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater, in an address to the American Association of State Transportation Officials (AASHTO), today announced an innovative federal-state partnership to provide highway improvements to the public that will come with a roadway performance warranty.

The 20-year research agreement between the Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) and the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department (NMSHTD), is designed to validate cost-savings to the government by determining the advantages of this innovative approach of providing warrantied highway improvements. Warranties, although innovative in United States, have been used in Europe and have proven to be very cost effective. The agreement is called New Mexico’s Road-Lifecycle Innovative Financial Evaluation (LIFE).

"Participating in the Road-LIFE Initiative is a new and better way of doing business," said Secretary Slater. "By working smarter for the American people, the Clinton-Gore administration is striving to make major transportation investments that will save the taxpayers an estimated $89 million in maintenance costs over the next 20 years."

Under terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), NMSHTD has negotiated and signed a contract with a subdivision of Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas, to design, manage, construct and, at the option of the state, partially finance the expansion of a 121-mile section of Mexico Highway 44 that is to service four lanes of traffic. The expansion is to be accomplished no later than November 2001.

For a one-time cost of $62 million, Koch will also guarantee the overall performance of the highway pavement for 20 years from the date of completion, and also warrant the bridges, drainage and erosion control features of the highway for 10 years.

RSPA’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a recognized national technical resource with the capability and institutional stability to assist the NMSHTD, will establish an independent and objective economic analysis framework and conduct analyses to assess the effectiveness of the maintenance and warranty approach for use on other highways.

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