The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) relies on its Maintenance Rating Program (MRP) to systematically measure conditions on state-owned roads and rights of way. Every year, the Cabinet evaluates 300-400 road segments in each of its highway districts. Segments receive aggregate scores ranging from 0 to 100, with the target score being 80. This report appraises the MRP and discusses potential strategies for its improvement. Compared to asset management programs established at other state transportation agencies, KYTC’s performs quite well. Between 1999 and 2019, MRP data show that scores improved across all road types. In 2011, the average score for all roads eclipsed 80 and has remained above this threshold since (albeit with some fluctuation). Currently, the category of rural secondary roads is the only one with an average score below 80, although it exceeded this threshold in 2015, 2016, and 2018. KYTC maintenance staff participated in a survey that gauged whether the components evaluated as part of the MRP are relevant and useful. The component which the highest percentage of respondents said is not useful is Right-of-Way Fence (62%). Smaller but still a considerable number of respondents said Striping components lack utility (31%), followed by General Aesthetics and Regulatory/Warning Sign Assemblies (about 27%). Despite the low ranking, staff will continue inspecting right-of-way fences because of their presence on divided highways and due to funding allocations. Additional guidance could be issued to mitigate the subjectivity of aesthetic judgments. Moving forward, the Cabinet will benefit from offering robust training to MRP data collectors to ensure scoring is consistent between districts and staff.

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© 2021 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.