Statewide implementation of Maintenance Decision Support System estimated at $332,879.

Estimated cost of New Hampshire MDSS implementation from 2009 benefit cost analysis

May 12, 2009
Statewide; New Hampshire; United States

Summary Information

The costs associated with MDSS use are presented in the table below (in 2008 dollars):

Costs ($/year)
Software and operations costs
1 computer/route; 15 min of MDSS installation time
Communication costs (for MDC)
$40/month; 5 months/winter season
In-vehicle computer hardware investment (capital and maintenance of MDC)
254 MDCs; $2,000/MDC; used for 5 years; maintenance cost is 10% of the capital cost per year
One training session/year for each garage; each garage maintained 2 routes; training costs for trainer and maintenance personnel
Additional weather forecast provider costs
Administrative costs
25% of direct costs
  • Software and Operations Costs - It is assumed that MDSS is deployed on all 127 routes, one computer is installed with MDSS software on each route, and the duration for each MDSS installation is 15 minutes.
  • In-vehicle Computer Hardware Investment - It is assumed that the state DOT would use MDC to provide an automated feedback mechanism (maintenance activity information transmitted from MDC to MDSS server) and a means of preserving the chain of communication between MDSS and the vehicle operator. The cost per MDC is about $2,000; it is assumed that each MDC can be used for 5 years, and the maintenance costs per year is 10 percent of the capital cost. Two trucks are assumed to be used on each route.
  • Communication Costs - The communication cost of MDC is $40 per month, 5 months per winter season (assuming the winter season from November to March).
  • Training Cost - This cost is estimated for duration of 5 years. One training session to the personnel on each route will be conducted every year; each training session lasts for 2 hours for the first 2 years, and 1 hour for the rest; 10 personnel are trained during each traning session. Costs of the trainer and maintenance personnel are included.
  • Additional Weather Forecast Provider Costs - This cost is minimal, since states that do not use MDSS also purchase weather services for winter maintenance. The cost for providing statewide weather forecast services depends upon how many auxiliary services are included in the service package.
  • Administrative Costs - Twenty five percent of the total costs discussed above is assumed for agency administration (including support from agency staff, e.g. route configuration, call-in technical support).


    New Hampshire DOT implemented MDSS during winter season of 2006-07 on a few routes; benefits and costs were analyzed based on the assumption of statewide application. Transportation agencies can calculate MDSS costs by using the cost breakdown in the table above. Important information for calculating MDSS costs includes the number of garages (sheds), the number of MDCs, and administrative cost (in terms of an assumed percentage of direct costs).

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Analysis of Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Benefits & Costs

Author: Zhirui Ye, Christopher Strong, Xianming Shi*, and Steven Conger

Published By: South Dakota Department of Transportation Office of Research 700 East Broadway Avenue Pierre, SD 57501-2586

Source Date: May 12, 2009

Other Reference Number: SD2006-10-F

System Cost

The total costs per winter season of statewide deployment of MDSS are $332,879 (in 2008 dollars).


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road weather vehicle tracking, winter maintenance vehicle, RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, road monitoring, weather station, environmental sensing station, MDSS, Maintenance Decison Support System, MDC, Mobile Data Collection

Cost ID: 2011-00209