Operation and Maintenance of Road Facilities and Their Impact on Project Sustainability

Evaluation Document | 31 December 1998

This evaluation assesses ADB's project experience in its developing member countries where operation and maintenance is a problem.

Operation and maintenance is an issue in many ADB assisted road projects in developing member countries in terms of project impact and sustainability. A lack of government funds has been a major reason for the low level of road maintenance, while poor interagency coordination in some countries has aggravated the problem.

This study assesses 40 ADB-assisted road projects approved between 1972 and 1997 in the People's Republic of China, Fiji Islands, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nepal, and Thailand.

Overall, ADB experience in the study countries supports the general observation of other development agencies that the wide lack of systematic and appropriate road maintennce results mainly from a lack of funds. This, in turn, results from a lack of understanding of the principles of the long-term benefits of road menitencance and weak budgetary control, particularly at the local level, among other things.

The study recommends clarifying operation and maintenance concepts from the perspective of various user groups and incorporating them in all road plans and polices, identifying institutional deficiencies, and reviewing the impact of past technical assistance to help determine future strengthening programs, and incorporating operations and maintenance early in the planning stage of road design.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Experience in the Study Countries
  • Major Issues
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Appendixes