Highway maintenance - Level of Service targets

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Level of Service targets

Source: WSDOT Maintenance and Operations Office
Note: The 27 maintenance activities are listed in prioritized order. Highlighted boxes indicatethe targets missed. Asset condition Level of Service is affected by maintenance activity, rehabilitation/reconstruction of highway infrastructure, third party damage, disaster events and new construction projects. LOS assessments occur throughout the reporting year, and scores are based on the asset condition at the time of assessment. 1 WSDOT was unable to complete night reflectivity assessments for Regulatory/Warning Sign Maintenance and Guide Sign Maintenance due to COVID-19 and carpooling restrictions in 2020.

Level of Service scores

Asset Condition (Level of Service) is measured for each asset using data collected from site surveys or operational assessments that evaluate the asset's performance. It is one of two metrics WSDOT uses—along with task completion—to determine the performance of its maintenance activities. This performance measure relies on the condition of highway assets as an indicator on how well the maintenance program is being delivered. Because WSDOT's Preservation and Improvement Programs also wield significant bearing on the condition of highway assets, the Maintenance Program is only partially responsible for the results of this performance measure.

This measure is made up of a condition indicator, (deficiency or condition to be measured), outcome measure, (unit of measure), and thresholds for the five service levels for each Maintenance Accountability Process activity. Level of Service is reported on a scale of "A" through "F." The general definition of each LOS is as follows:

  • "A" - The assets are in excellent condition and all systems are operational.
  • "B" - The assets are in good condition and all systems are operational.
  • "C" - The assets are in fair condition and systems may occasionally be inoperable.
  • "D" - The assets are in poor condition and system failures could occur.
  • "F" - The assets are in poor and failing condition and system failures are likely.

Performance analysis

2022

WSDOT misses 12 of 27 maintenance targets in 2022

Of the 27 maintenance activities measured in 2022, WSDOT missed LOS targets for the following 12 activities:

  • Snow and Ice Control Operations
  • Regulatory/Warning Sign Maintenance
  • Pavement Striping Maintenance
  • Culvert Maintenance
  • Shoulder Maintenance
  • Sweeping and Cleaning
  • Slope Repair
  • Vegetation Obstruction Control
  • Guidepost Maintenance
  • Noxious Weed Control
  • Roadside Cleanup
  • Guide Sign Maintenance

2021

WSDOT misses 12 of 27 maintenance targets in 2021

Of the 27 maintenance activities measured in 2021, WSDOT missed LOS targets for the following 12 activities, which comprised 44% of the total:

  • Snow and Ice Control Operations
  • Regulatory/Warning Sign Maintenance
  • Pavement Striping Maintenance
  • Culvert Maintenance
  • Shoulder Maintenance
  • Sweeping and Cleaning
  • Slope Repair
  • Pavement Marking Maintenance
  • Guidepost Maintenance
  • Noxious Weed Control
  • Roadside Cleanup
  • Guide Sign Maintenance

2020

WSDOT meets 17 of 25 maintenance targets in 2020

WSDOT met 68% (17 of 25) of its highway Maintenance Accountability Process targets for 2020—down nine percentage points from 77% in 2019. WSDOT was unable to complete two of the 27 MAP activities (Regulatory/Warning Sign and Guide Sign Maintenance) due to COVID-19 and carpooling restrictions. The missed targets were primarily due to COVID-19 restrictions, work furloughs, personnel shortages due to hiring freezes and continued budget shortfalls.

Level of Service scores use a letter grading scale, with A being the highest and F being the lowest. Of the 25 maintenance activities measured in 2020, the following activities missed LOS targets:

  • Catch Basin and Inlet Maintenance
  • Pavement Striping
  • Stormwater Facility Maintenance
  • Bridge Cleaning
  • Sweeping and Cleaning
  • Slope Repair
  • Noxious Weed Control
  • Roadside Cleanup
The agency has made many investments in expanding the state's transportation system in recent years, but the funds provided to maintain the expanded system have not kept up with needs, leading to an increasing backlog. Much of the state's gas tax (83.8%) goes toward debt service on new investments, leaving 16.2% of collected gas tax for everything else—including maintenance and preservation.

2019

WSDOT meets 20 of 26 maintenance LOS targets in 2019

In 2019, WSDOT's response to snow and ice removal due to severe winter weather reduced the funds originally planned to support other maintenance activities. The following six LOS activities—five of which are lower priority categories—received letter grades below target levels:

  • Regulatory Sign Maintenance missed its target of a C, receiving a D. Allocated funding failed to keep up with needs, contributing to a growing backlog. In the last five years, WSDOT's regulatory sign inventory increased by 25%, mostly due to system additions. Late winter weather also affected maintenance activities for sign work.
  • Sweeping and Cleaning missed its target of an A, receiving a B. This is primarily a result of staffing challenges, and late winter weather.
  • Slope Repair missed its target of a B, receiving a D rating. This is primarily a result of a late, wet winter and spring, which caused excessive erosion. Budget and staffing challenges were also contributing factors.
  • Guidepost Maintenance missed its target of a D, receiving an F. This is a result of deferred funding due to late winter weather.
  • Roadside Cleanup missed its target of a D, receiving a F. This is primarily a result of uncovered loads, delay of litter pickup from winter weather.
  • Guide Sign Maintenance missed its target of a C, receiving a D. Allocated preservation funding failed to keep up with demand, contributing to a growing backlog. In the last five years, guide sign inventory has increased by 9%, mostly due to system additions. Late winter weather also affected maintenance activities for sign work

2018

WSDOT meets 20 of 26 maintenance targets in 2018

WSDOT measures the annual performance of 26 maintenance activities, excluding Urban Tunnel System Operations. This activity was removed from 2017 and 2018 calculations because the facilities in that category were under construction.

The following LOS activities received letter grades below target levels:

  • Noxious Weed Control missed its target of a B, receiving a C rating. This is a result of multiple years of budgetary and staffing challenges, as well as the prioritization of maintenance activities during weed control season.
  • Slope Repair missed its target of an A, receiving a C rating. This is primarily a result of an unusually wet winter and spring, which caused excessive erosion. Budgetary and staffing challenges were also contributing factors.
  • Pavement Marking Maintenance missed its target of a D, receiving an F rating. This work suffered due to a wet spring and ongoing budgetary and staffing challenges.
  • Barrier Maintenance missed its target of an A, receiving a B. This is a primarily a result of damage caused by the traveling public (third party damage).
  • Sweeping and Cleaning missed its target of an A, receiving a B. This is primarily a result of staffing challenges, equipment issues and late winter weather events.
  • Highway Lighting Systems missed its target of an A, receiving a B rating. Resources for highway lighting were diverted to repairing third party damage. Staffing challenges and increasing utility and material costs were also contributing factors.

How WSDOT measures its Level of Service targets

WSDOT measures the annual performance of its maintenance activities using two metrics:

  • Asset condition Level of Service is measured for each asset using data collected from site surveys or operational assessments that evaluate the asset's performance.
  • Task completion is an evaluation of planned maintenance tasks for specific activities compared to how many of those tasks were completed.
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