National Academies Press: OpenBook

Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan (2023)

Chapter: Chapter 4 Implementation and Further Research

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 Implementation and Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27290.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 Implementation and Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27290.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 Implementation and Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27290.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 Implementation and Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27290.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 Implementation and Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27290.
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58 C H A P T E R 4 Implementation and Further Research The Guide provides a comprehensive framework for incorporating maintenance costs into a TAMP. However, as demonstrated in the peer exchanges described in Chapter 2, each transportation agency has unique terminology, policies, practices, systems, data, and capabilities that make each implementation of the Guide unique. To support implementation, several communications products were developed under this project. Additional efforts are being undertaken to inform practitioners of the Guide and provide opportunities to understand the materials presented in the Guide. Implementation Plan Target Audiences Based on the findings from tasks 1 and 2, the research team identified multiple challenges commonly faced by DOTs when attempting to incorporate maintenance costs into a TAMP (see Chapter 2). These challenges are often founded in the lack of a common unit or leadership structure for asset management and maintenance at many transportation agencies. Given the separation of responsibilities between maintenance and asset management leaders at many agencies, the research team sees those leaders as the two primary audiences for the Guide. TAM professionals are responsible for performing asset management analyses and developing their agency’s respective TAMPs. This audience is focused on long-term forecasting to support the development and implementation of 10-year investment strategies. The asset management analyses are commonly focused on optimizing asset condition ratings, with consideration for all agency funding. This broad view, particularly of funding, can lead to a focus on capital programs, due to their relative size. Asset managers are also focused on enterprise and programmatic risks. Many TAMPs include very few details on risk mitigation strategies, leaving that to leaders of other agency units responsible for implementing the strategies. Further, asset management staff may have little motivation to make the TAMP processes more complicated unless they are also involved in maintenance decisions. Based on the peer exchanges, it appears most likely that the impetus to better incorporate maintenance costs into TAMPs will come from maintenance managers. During the peer exchanges, Maintenance managers indicated concerns that without proper representation in the TAMP, maintenance will not receive adequate priority and funding. Therefore, Maintenance managers in some agencies are seeking justification and support for incorporating maintenance costs in their TAMPs. Maintenance managers are not typically responsible for long-term planning. Their programs tend to operate on 1- to 2-year budget cycles. Maintenance performance can be based on asset conditions but is commonly related to highway user expectations and may not translate directly for use in current asset management analysis. Finally, Maintenance managers are often responsible for developing and executing detailed risk mitigation strategies in response to all types of risks, including risks that may be considered tolerable in a TAMP. One common trait among these expected user groups is that they both consist primarily of technical managers. This common trait will allow the research team to engage with the two groups through similar activities, although those interactions may have slightly different areas of focus.

59 Webinars with AASHTO In 2021, the AASHTO Committee on Maintenance reached out to the research team with interest in conducting a series of webinars on the topic of incorporating maintenance costs into a TAMP. The research team, with support from the project panel, has organized three webinars prior to the Guide’s publication. • July 13, 2021 – AASHTO Roadway/Roadside Technical Working Group Meeting. AASHTO requested a presentation on this project as part of a discussion on connecting maintenance to asset management. The research team provided a brief overview of the framework and discussed the project scope and schedule. Additional presentations were provided by Dave Solsrud (Minnesota DOT), Anita Bush (Nevada DOT), Steve Wilcox (New York State DOT), and Todd Lamphere (Washington State DOT). • March 16, 2022 – AASHTO Committee on Maintenance Webinar. As a follow-up to the prior discussion, AASHTO hosted a webinar on the same topic. The research team provided another update and a similar overview of the framework and forthcoming Guide. Additional presentations were delivered by the same individuals. • October 19, 2022 – AASHTO Asset Management Webinar Series, Webinar #59. As the Guide nears completion, the research team is working with the project panel and AASHTO to provide a more comprehensive overview of the pending Guide, including examples of agencies working to connect maintenance to their TAMPs. The research team will present an overview based on the presentation developed under task 6 of the research project. Additional presentations will be made by Trisha Stefanski (MnDOT), Toby Manthey (Colorado DOT), and Morgan Musick (Alabama DOT). The session will be moderated by Anita Bush (Nevada DOT). One-Page E-Mail Blast The research team developed a one-page e-mail blast with the objective of boiling the main points and benefits of the subject down to be quickly viewed and understood by a wide range of recipients. The material does not seek to provide in- depth information or answer questions but rather grab the viewer’s attention and motivate them to want to learn more. The research team is also capable of disseminating this type of material to a long list of clients Figure 10. E-mail blast.

60 and contacts. The team members can also coordinate with associations such as AASHTO, AMPO, or FHWA to distribute the information to their members. TRB Workshop To promote the Guide, the research team is scheduled to deliver a workshop on the Guide's contents during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting in January 2023. The targeted audience for the workshop is TAM and maintenance managers who are likely to lead process improvement efforts to integrate maintenance costs into their agencies’ TAMPs. The workshop will be sponsored by AKR10 – Standing Committee on Maintenance and Operations Management. The workshop will allow agencies to take stock of their agency’s strengths and weaknesses and develop an understanding of how best to approach implementation through exercises with their peers. The workshop will alternate between the presentation of material and small group exercises that will allow participants to apply what they have just learned. During the small group exercises, participants will work in teams to find approaches that will help with practical challenges related to including maintenance costs into a TAMP. Executive Summary The research team developed a five-page, stand-alone Executive Summary focused on conveying the purpose, overall approach, and benefits of the Guidance. The Executive Summary was developed to be tailored to transportation executives, such as directors, administrators, and transportation commissioners. The Executive Summary highlights typical resource needs for implementing and administering enhanced maintenance cost-tracking processes and shows the cost-effectiveness of such investments. Technical Memorandum on Implementation The research team also developed a twenty-page technical memorandum directed at asset and maintenance managers and practitioners. This document focuses less on the benefits of integrating maintenance costs in TAM, as it is expected this audience already understands the connection. Instead, the focus is on the framework and guidance, with a highlight on keys to success. The memorandum focuses on information to enable readers to grasp the concepts and approach behind the guidance and provide key steps for getting started. This information includes key topics, issues, or similar highlights to help inform managers of opportunities or threats that are likely to be encountered during implementation so they can be aware of and prepare for them. PowerPoint Presentation and Script This is a common deliverable that enables members of the research team, project panel, or contributing state to have a ready-made presentation for communicating to large or small groups. The research team worked with panel members using this presentation, along with others to be developed by the panel members, for a webinar on the Guide. The webinar is expected to be hosted by the AASHTO Committee on Maintenance once the Guide is published. Additional Opportunities to Support Implementation In addition to the efforts described above, there are additional opportunities to support the implementation of the Guide beyond the scope of this project. These efforts would require additional resources.

61 Peer Exchanges The peer exchange held under task 1 of this project was well attended and well received. The continued requests from AASHTO for additional virtual events and acceptance of the workshop at the TRB Annual Meeting suggest there is continued interest in interactive discussions on this topic. One or more additional peer exchanges to support implementation could be held in conjunction with events expected to be well attended by members of the expected Guide audience. Such events could include the Annual AASHTO Committee on Maintenance meeting or the National Conference on Transportation Asset Management. Peer exchanges would be one-day events for 25 or more participants. While the research team was unable to identify a single agency that has successfully implemented all aspects of the framework, examples are included in the Guide for each framework component. Agencies with more mature practices can present their efforts to date. Facilitators could lead small groups in discussions of opportunities to improve practices and share experiences regarding barriers faced and overcome. A summary of each peer exchange could be published to share an overview of the presentations and shared ideas from the groups. Pilot Implementation Working with one agency at a time, a consultant team could provide support to agencies interested in better integrating maintenance and asset management but who feel they need additional assistance. The consultant team could assess the maturity of the agency in terms of each component of the framework and identify opportunities for improvement. Throughout this project, participating agencies have shown a willingness to volunteer to share their knowledge and assist other agencies in maturing their maintenance and asset management processes. Mentor agencies could be identified for each component of the framework to assist the pilot agencies with implementation in those areas. For each pilot agency, one or two mentors could be identified. The consultant team and mentor agencies would then collaborate to identify the support needed by the pilot agency. The consultant would work to develop an implementation plan that identifies: 1. Necessary actions. 2. Relationships and dependencies between actions. 3. Required resources. 4. Realistic schedule requirements. Future Research Needs and Enhancements Several of the challenges to integrating maintenance and asset management, identified during the peer exchange, present opportunities for research beyond the scope of this project. Additionally, with the Guide, complete there is an opportunity for enhancements to the current body of knowledge. Such opportunities identified by the project team include: • Improving consistency of maintenance-related terms and definitions. As identified in Phase I of this project, there are multiple formal and informal definitions of maintenance and activities related to maintenance. While there seems to be little desire for standardization, there could be a benefit to further documenting these terms and their various uses. • Developing methods or approaches for incorporating maintenance activities into bridge and pavement management systems. This research was not able to explore the details for incorporating maintenance data such as activity codes, accomplishments, costs, and impacts on condition directly into analyses performed using asset management software. Additional research could assist agencies looking to make the incorporation of maintenance costs into their TAMPs more objective and data- driven.

62 • Identifying best practices for optimizing maintenance delivery mechanisms – choosing between crews and contracts. As documented in the peer exchanges, agencies are faced with difficult decisions regarding how best to deliver needed maintenance both in the near and long term. Agencies have taken different approaches, but there is no definitive guide on how to make these decisions. • Establishing guidance for LCP for ancillary assets. Phase I of this effort identified existing guidance for performing LCP and for incorporating ancillary assets in a TAM program. However, no current guidance focuses on LCP for assets other than pavements and bridges. Some state DOTs have already included ancillary assets in their TAMPs, but others are hesitant due to the lack of understanding of the data and analyses needed. • Developing a maintenance and asset management integration self-assessment. Following on this research, an effort to provide agencies with an objective framework for assessing their incorporation of maintenance costs into their TAMPs could support implementation. Such tools are typically developed through separate research projects. • Development of standards for reporting labor, equipment, and materials usage for creating unit costs. There are significant variations between states on how these costs are captured and utilized. However, a large percentage of maintenance activities are very similar from state to state. It may benefit practitioners if some standards for "typical" activities could be developed to help with consistency, especially if applying those costs to a TAMP. • A refresh of the NCHRP Report 677: LOS for Interstates, that updates and expands the methodology to include other roadway classifications. States reported struggling to develop LOS scales that were not too harsh or too lenient for different types of roadways. Most look to peer agencies to validate their scales. Establishing a standard scale as a best practice would allow states to be more confident in their scores and allow better peer-to-peer comparisons.

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Since 2018, state departments of transportation (DOTs) have been required to develop risk-based transportation asset management plans (TAMPs) and to update these plans every four years. However, the absence of maintenance cost data in a TAMP prevents agencies from fully capturing the total investment made to preserve and improve highway infrastructure assets.

NCHRP Web-Only Document 372: Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan, from TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, documents research conducted to develop a framework that state DOTs and other transportation agencies can use to incorporate maintenance costs into their TAMP.

The document is supplemental to NCHRP Research Report 1076: A Guide to Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan.

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