There are approximately 4,000 instances per year where state property located along Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) maintained right-of-way needs to be replaced or repaired due to motor vehicle crashes. INDOT incurs significant financial losses to repair state property damage that is not recovered from the responsible driver because responsible parties can not be identified and invoices do not reflect the fully-loaded cost of the repair. This study’s objective is to identify enhanced management procedures to decrease the financial burden of the state by identifying best practices supporting the following four goals: 1) increasing the percent of invoices collected, 2) more effectively associating vehicle crash reports with crash damaged infrastructure, 3) decreasing the process time, and 4) ensuring that invoices reflect the fully-loaded repair cost. As part of the study INDOT’s recovery process was compared to peer states, a prototype process to document crash damaged infrastructure was field tested, enhanced crash repair documents were developed, and crash report queries were evaluate.

Based on the research, this report recommends that the recovery process should begin with the placement of a tag by the investigating law enforcement officer at the scene of the crash. This tag would allow maintenance crews to directly link infrastructure damage with a specific vehicle crash report. This report recommends that a notification letter be sent to the driver and/or insurance company notifying them of the pending invoice. Past invoicing challenges show that these components are expected to increase the likelihood of successful repair cost recovery. This report also recommends that an administration fee be included in the repair costs to facilitate the new procedures. Performance measures have been proposed to evaluate the effectiveness of these procedures.

Report Number



crash damaged infrastructure, cost recovery, crash damage tagging, guardrail repair, crash queries, SPR-3411

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version


3411_Technical_Report.pdf (607 kB)
Technical Summary