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HDM-4: A great tool for sustainable pavement maintenance

HDM-4 (the acronym for Highway Development and Maintenance ) is a decision making tool used by consultants or engineers for checking the Engineering and Economic viability of the investments in road projects. It was developed by the World Bank and is most commonly used as a basis for feasibility studies, in which a road project is evaluated in terms of its economic viability. A more comprehensive type of evaluation based on HDM-4 is a network evaluation, which assesses an entire road network to help decision makers in their strategic planning of road investments and/or the definition of a rational road works program, with or without budget constraints. A network economic evaluation is the most challenging use of the model, but the effort is well justified given the potential savings to be achieved on transport costs by comparing various project alternatives and performing an optimization under budget constraints. The development of HDM-4 version 2 came about through various forms of feedback, user satisfaction, user requirements and any enhancements required by transportation consultancies, government road agencies and transportation research institutions. The HDM-4 analytical framework is based on the concept of pavement life cycle analysis. The models are applied to predict traffic, road condition, agency and road user costs over the life cycle of a road pavement, which is typically 15 to 40 years.

More information regarding HDM-4 can be found on the HDMGlobal website (, which comprises an international consortium of academic and consultancy companies that have formed a partnership for the future management and development of HDM 4.

For further information regarding the HDM-4 software and its application, please refer to

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