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

Chapter: Section 7 - Summary of Constraints to Implementation

« Previous: Section 6 - Selection of Tools and Methodologies
Page 26
Suggested Citation:"Section 7 - Summary of Constraints to Implementation." 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 26
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Section 7 - Summary of Constraints to Implementation." 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 27

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26 General constraints to wider use of asset risk management include a lack of training and defin- itive guides. Expanded use of climate risk assessment is constrained by a lack of understanding of how to use climate data, a sense that climate threats are not immediate, and terminology that differs between climate threat analyses and traditional risk management. Constraints to wider use of management systems to assess risks include a lack of examples of such applications and a lack of training on how to perform those analyses. The 12 studies pursued in the later stages of NCHRP 08-118 respond directly to those constraints. Appendix D presents detailed findings on the constraints to implementing asset risk management. 7.1 General Constraints Nine general constraints to implementing asset risk management were identified: 1. Risk management is in the early stages of maturity in state DOTs. At the time of this research, no guides and manuals on enterprise-, network-, and program-level risk management of assets were available to help agencies systematically implement asset risk management. (NCHRP 08-93, “Managing Risk Across the Enterprise” produced an enterprise risk man- agement guide that uses some asset risk management examples but is not dedicated to asset risk management.) 2. The history of risk-based asset management in the United States is limited, and states do not have many examples to emulate. 3. A major constraint is a lack of a concerted national implementation effort such as the NCHRP active implementation frameworks.14 4. Use of existing tools for asset risk management is rare. 5. Use of quantitative, probabilistic, or stochastic risk assessment tools is rare. 6. There is a lack of training on effectively using existing tools for asset risk management. 7. There is a lack of formal risk management processes for managing assets. 8. Few states have legal imperatives to implement asset risk management. 9. There are few consequences for failing to manage risks. 7.2 Constraints to Managing Climate Change Risks Twelve constraints to managing climate change risks were identified: 1. There is a lack of data and lack of clarity on how to access and use available data on climate change hazards. 2. Climate change is not perceived as an immediate priority. It is often perceived as a future risk and therefore does not get prioritized for near-term action. S E C T I O N 7 Summary of Constraints to Implementation

Summary of Constraints to Implementation 27   3. Transportation agencies can be siloed. Addressing climate change risks requires cross- department communication and coordination on key asset management activities, which may not exist in many state DOTs. 4. Inconsistencies exist between climate change vulnerability assessment and risk assessment approaches and terminology. 5. Agencies lack clarity on how to use climate change projection data and account for the related uncertainties to inform asset decisions. 6. Assessing the likelihood of climate change risks requires a different approach than other risks. Climate change causes the likelihood of weather events to change over time. Risk assessments traditionally assess discrete events, but climate risks also include the consider- ation of more gradual onset events such as sea level rise and rising temperatures. 7. It is difficult to quantitatively account for increased deterioration caused by gradual climate change. 8. It is difficult to quantitatively assess the consequences of damage and loss of functionality caused by climate change. Currently, management systems do not support different climate risk zones or changes in deterioration rates based on climate change. 9. Summarizing climate change risks across the transportation system is difficult when risk may vary at local levels or across regions. 10. Risks related to extreme weather change over time, and the best time to implement risk mitigation strategies is often uncertain. 11. Resources are limited and most state DOTs lack dedicated funding or financing for climate resilience investment. (Although the regulation in 23 CFR 667 requires analysis of sites damaged during more than one official disaster event, it has not yet precipitated widespread investment in damaged sites. Most state TAMPs reported few sites damaged during more than one official emergency event.) 12. Standard design practices do not account for future climate change. 7.3 Constraints to Use of Management Systems in Managing Asset Risks Six constraints to wider use of existing management systems in managing asset risks were identified: 1. A lack of training for highway infrastructure asset managers and lack of familiarity with the concepts of risk management for those managing BMSs and PMSs. 2. Inexact alignment in risk management terminology between risk resources creates confusion. 3. Agencies lack a single published framework and guidance on developing risk indices for use in existing management systems. 4. Agencies lack data and clarity on using threat probability, vulnerability, and consequence as risk index inputs. 5. Analysis scenario inputs are not widely understood in the context of risk. 6. Mechanics of asset management system optimization analysis and output are not well under- stood by practitioners who use off-the-shelf BMSs and PMSs.

Next: Section 8 - Approach Followed for Study Selection and Testing »
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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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