National Academies Press: OpenBook

Use of Transportation Asset Management Principles in State Highway Agencies (2013)

Chapter:CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Recommendations

« Previous: CHAPTER FOUR Survey Results Analysis
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Use of Transportation Asset Management Principles in State Highway Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22650.
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Use of Transportation Asset Management Principles in State Highway Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22650.

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

33 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS managers, top executives are represented in more than 30% of the groups. Fifteen percent of the responding agencies have created separate divisions within their organization to support AM activities. Having an AM group, executive involvement, and an AM structure within the organization is helpful to sup- port AM activity development, implementation, and practice. Data AM inventories have expanded beyond the traditional pave- ment and bridge assets; over 70% of the agencies report col- lecting signs, guardrail, culverts, and lighting information. In addition, over 50% of the agencies are conducting condition assessments, which can support investment analysis for proj- ect selection and resource allocation recommendations. Decision Making Over 70% of the responding agencies noted that since they have started using AM principles, their decisions are more data-driven, defensible, and performance-based. Sixty per- cent of the agencies are balancing AM preservation and capital improvements, which is a critical component of developing a sustainable infrastructure. Fifty percent of the agencies have developed a process to share AM informa- tion with elected and appointed officials, which is critical for communicating investment needs and adding transparency to the decision-making process and trade-offs. Even though agencies are collecting data beyond pavements and bridges, they continue to need to use this information in the decision- making process. For example, more than 90% of the agen- cies are using AM information to select bridge and pavement projects; however, for other assets (e.g., maintenance, opera- tions, safety), this number drops below 40%. Performance Measures and Risk The primary performance measures that drive agency deci- sion making are physical condition (98%) and safety (90%). However, both operations and capacity were reported as decision-making drivers in more than half of the agencies, 57% and 50%, respectively. Only 27% of the respondents incorporate risk into their short-term decision making, and it is normally associated with costs and schedules. Only 19% of agencies consider long-term risk in their decision making, which includes design, sustainability, and climate change. OVERALL FINDINGS The financial impact of asset management (AM) touches every aspect of an organization. Even with the potential positive benefits, it is a considerable challenge to change a transportation agency’s culture to initiate, embrace, and ulti- mately integrate transportation asset management (TAM) principles. Although the emergence of champion agencies using TAM principles is limited, the level of interest among state departments of transportation (DOTs), federal agen- cies, professional organizations, and the research commu- nity has been steadily increasing. Given the growing level of interest, and the recent Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21 Act) performance-based reau- thorization, this synthesis of TAM practice among state highway agencies is a timely resource for any agency trying to identify where it may want to focus its AM efforts. The state-of-the-practice information in this synthesis report was obtained primarily through two separate web- based agency surveys, with additional input from practitio- ners. The initial survey requested that participants conduct a self-assessment to characterize their AM practices. The self-assessment results provide a reflection on current and future (5 years) business practices and the agencies’ insti- tutional, organizational, financial, and information technol- ogy environments. This survey yielded 18 DOT participant responses. Based on the results of the initial survey and input from the Topic Panel, a second state-of-the-practice survey ques- tionnaire was developed, pre-tested among state DOT mem- bers on the Topic Panel, revised, and distributed to DOTs in a web-based format. This survey was designed to capture the existing state of the practice and the agency’s forward- looking expectations (for the next 3 to 5 years). This second survey yielded 43 state DOT responses. The survey results can be summarized based on the basic building blocks for an AM system, which were used in this report to develop a maturity scale. Organization Sixty percent of the agencies have an AM group. Even though the composition of these groups is dominated by major asset

34 Transportation Asset Management Plan Of the five agencies that provided what they termed their Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) documents, only two (New Jersey and Georgia) have provided TAMPs that are a good example what a TAMP, should be according to the 2002 AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide. The remaining three agencies provided more of an implemen- tation plan or a strategic plan to initiate the practice of AM at a comprehensive level within their agencies. Regardless, content within these plans is encouraging as they are focusing on more than just pavement and bridges, and are considering integration, communication, and effective decision making. FURTHER RESEARCH Work on this synthesis has identified several gaps in current knowledge that could be addressed by the following research: • A common language is needed for AM functions, prac- tices, and processes. The results from the AM state- of-the-practice survey highlighted a few areas where there is no common understanding of the terminology. One example is the TAMP; of the five received through the synthesis, only two were actual TAMPs with all required parts. • Self-Assessment Tool. The 2002 AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide introduced the self-assessment so that agencies can plan their next moves in implement- ing AM. The self-assessment tool needs to be modified to reflect changes resulting from new research since 2002, the new AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide: A Focus on Implementation (2011), and current state DOT practices. The new self-assessment tool should be in electronic format, preferably web-based, that not only allows the agency to gather input from their staff but also provides analysis capabilities as part of the pre- sentation of the results. Future NCHRP Project 08-90, “Development of a Transportation Asset Management Gap Analysis Tool to Complement the AASHTO TAM Implementation Guide,” could address some of the research issues listed here. • Risk assessment. As highlighted in the AM state-of- the-practice survey, risk is an activity that needs more short- and long-term focus. A synthesis of risk assess- ment practices in an AM perspective would help iden- tify current agency practices and future research needs in this area. • A study of the use of performance measures in AM. With MAP-21 and the recent creation of the FHWA Office of Transportation Performance Management, it will be useful to investigate this topic by developing case studies on how some agencies are using this concept. • Develop case studies on best practices addressing dif- ferent categories of the maturity scale presented in this synthesis (i.e., organization structure, data, decision making, performance measures, risk). • Conduct a domestic scan of the agencies that scored high on the different maturity categories.

Next: References »
Use of Transportation Asset Management Principles in State Highway Agencies Get This Book
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 439: Use of Transportation Asset Management Principles in State Highway Agencies explores the state of practice for transportation asset management among state departments of transportation.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook,'s online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!