Exploring Performance-Based Contracts: a Good Option to Address Long-Term Road Maintenance in California?

SB1 aims to “fix neighborhood streets, freeways, and bridges in communities across California."The purpose of the projects developed under this framework is not only to fix current deficiencies but also to provide an effective long-term performance of roads and bridges. Thus, in these projects, enhancing long-term performance is one of the main goals. Project goals are the basis for public agencies to select each project’s contracting strategy. In fact, lifecycle issues, such as lifecycle costs and maintainability, are aspects to be considered when selecting the contracting strategy. Performance-Based contracts (PBC), in contrast with traditional contracts, consider payments for the construction, management, and maintenance of road assets explicitly linked to the contractor successfully meeting or exceeding a clearly defined number of performance indicators. Previous studies have analyzed the use by public administrators of PBC in other states and countries. However, there is a knowledge gap on how these contracts might be applied in California’s road maintenance. This research conducts a structured literature review on more than 100 documents and content analysis to identify PBC benefits and limitations and explore how other states and countries could inform the implementation of PBC in California.

Principal Investigator: 
Maria Calahorra-Jimenez
PI Contact Information: 
April 2023 to March 2024
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

This research project will contribute to the knowledge of project delivery and procurement methods by investigating the application of PBC to address long-term road maintenance in California. The results of this project will inform California road agencies in selecting the contracting strategy that best matches their long-term performance goals.

Project Number: 



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