National Academies Press: OpenBook

Risk Assessment Techniques for Transportation Asset Management: Conduct of Research (2023)

Chapter: Section 6 - Selection of Tools and Methodologies

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Page 24
Suggested Citation:"Section 6 - Selection of Tools and Methodologies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Risk Assessment Techniques for Transportation Asset Management: Conduct of Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27130.
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Page 24
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Suggested Citation:"Section 6 - Selection of Tools and Methodologies." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Risk Assessment Techniques for Transportation Asset Management: Conduct of Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27130.
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Page 25

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24 The following tools and methodologies were identified to meet the project objectives, advance the state of the practice, capitalize on tools available to states, and help agencies overcome the constraints to wider use of risk management. 6.1 Off-the-Shelf Tools Regarding relevance and availability, for example, off-the-shelf tools such as forecasting func- tions, Monte Carlo simulation, and probabilistic decision trees are available as Excel add-ins or independent commercially available software for a few thousand, or even a few hundred, dollars. Their low cost and relative simplicity make them easily available to state DOTs. These off-the-shelf tools also are applicable to many asset management functions, such as forecasting program-level inflation, predicting asset deterioration rates, or informing trade-off decisions. 6.2 Bridge and Pavement Management Systems The federal requirement in 23 CFR 515.17 has resulted in all state DOTs developing BMSs and PMSs. Therefore, those systems are becoming increasingly available to state DOTs. However, the deployment of these systems is occurring over several years. The state of the practice report sum- marized that state DOTs are initially focusing on developing the management systems to analyze asset conditions. Agencies’ focus on that functionality has not yet led them to capitalize on BMS and PMS functions that help assess risks or make risk-based trade-offs. Reviews with manage- ment systems vendors, and the project team’s personal experience, identified techniques to use the management systems to assess risks. Therefore, assessing risk through existing management systems is a suitable and natural approach for risk management. 6.3 Linking Climate Threat Assessment and Risk Management Another set of tools and methodologies relates to climate change and extreme weather. How- ever, the extreme weather and climate change analysis processes were proceeding on separate paths from the asset management risk analyses. Developing crosswalks from risk analysis ter- minology to extreme weather risk terminology was identified as an option for connecting these processes and analyses. 6.4 Integrating Risk Management in All Asset Management Functions A fourth area of promising tools and methodologies relates to TAMPs. Although each TAMP must include a risk analysis, the analysis was often limited to one section. What appeared to be missing was an acknowledgment of how risk influences all asset management considerations. S E C T I O N 6 Selection of Tools and Methodologies

Selection of Tools and Methodologies 25   For example, each TAMP must include a description of NHS assets and their condition. Some assets create disproportionate risk to sustaining a state of good repair. For example, WSDOT identified nearly 1,000 lane miles of concrete pavements that are more than 40 years old. Other DOTs identified large bridges as creating risk to both network-wide conditions and agency bud- gets. FDOT identified coastal bridges subject to wave action as risks. It appeared from reviewing all TAMPs that a promising risk methodology was to identify how risks could influence other asset management considerations. Promising areas included describing assets and identifying risks to the implementation of life cycle strategies, the achievement of targets, and the imple- mentation of effective investment strategies. The identified tools and methodologies also directly respond to the 27 constraints to wider use of asset risk management detailed in Section 7.

Next: Section 7 - Summary of Constraints to Implementation »
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The assessment of climatic and extreme weather risks is increasingly becoming important to the operation of transportation agencies. There are easy-to-use tools and techniques that can be implemented by agencies.

NCHRP Research Report 1066: Risk Assessment Techniques for Transportation Asset Management: Conduct of Research, from TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, discusses how to assess risks and summarizes 12 studies that demonstrate how to enhance the measurement of risks, quantify risks, and better link risk management processes with the appropriate tools.

Supplemental to the report are a presentation and NCHRP Web-Only Document 366: Risk Assessment Techniques for Transportation Asset Management: Appendices.

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