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FOREWORD By Staff Transportation Research Board PREFACE Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which in- formation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solv- ing or alleviating the problem. Information exists on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway com- munity, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officialsâ through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Programâ authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Project 20-5, âSynthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. The synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each re- port in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those meas- ures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. This report of the Transportation Research Board is a study of the current practices for identifying, measuring, and articulating the public benefits of highway system main- tenance and operation, and of communicating those benefits that are understandable and meaningful to stakeholdersâroad users, elected officials, and others who have an inter- est in the systemâs performance. It includes information on the difficulties public agen- cies encounter in explaining these benefits. This synthesis report included a review of published literature on the measurement and communication of maintenance benefits, a formal survey of state transportation agencies, and informal interviews and discussions with a range of individuals engaged in highway system management. A panel of experts in the subject area guided the work of organizing and evaluating the collected data and reviewed the final synthesis report. A consultant was engaged to collect and synthesize the information and to write this report. Both the consultant and the members of the oversight panel are acknowledged on the title page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.