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TAM/ERM - Incorporating Risk Management into Maintenance Practice
FHWA Directive 5520 encourages state DOTs to develop risk-based, cost effective strategies to minimize the impacts of climate change. Environmental stressors, such as extreme heat and extreme cold, and changes in the frequency and magnitude of extreme events, is changing the lifecycle of transportation assets; i.e, reducing service life, shortening replacement cycles, and increasing maintenance costs. Maintenance personnel offer valuable insight as to the costs associated with achieving performance goals. At the same time, maintenance personnel will require guidance as to how to incorporate risk models into maintenance, inspection, replacement, and repair cycles so that scheduled and routine maintenance continue to mitigate the risk from asset deterioration.
Literature Search Summary
This research differs from the existing body of research found in a review of relevant literature due to its focus on the integration of risk management with existing processes. During the review, there was no body of work that mentions incorporating risk management into the existing maintenance practices. In addition, transportation practitioners during multiple stakeholder engagements during the development of the NCHRP 20-123 project initiated the conversation and advocated for the need of this potential research topic.
To fulfil the requirements of MAP-21 and FAST Act, state DOTs started to establish enterprise risk management (ERM) programs and develop risk-based assets management plan. FHWA Directive 5520 further encourages state DOTs to develop risk-based, cost-effective strategies to minimize the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. Environmental stressors, such as natural disasters (e.g. earthquake, flood, high wind, wildfire etc.), higher average temperature etc. are changing the lifecycle of transportation assets, which also change the maintenance needs of infrastructure assets. Incorporating climate change into risk modeling and risk-based maintenance planning is important for an informative, forward-looking, and sustainable decision making and funding allocation strategy. Guidance and tools are not currently available to support the practice.
The purpose of the proposed project is to develop a guidance and prototype tool to help state DOTs assess and manage risk in maintenance practice. The specific research tasks to accomplish the main objective include:
Task 1 – Conduct a State DOT survey and in-depth interview with selected DOTs to determine the state-of-practice for
• the methodologies and tools used for risk assessment and management, and how they are integrated into asset management and maintenance practice (at enterprise level, program level, and project level).
• the methodologies for quantifying risks caused by climate change and extreme weather events
- determine extreme weather events and climate factors need to be considered
- determine performance matrices to measure the effects of extreme weather events and climate changes
- quantify the risks associated with the performance effects
• maintenance actions and associated risk mitigation requirements; and effectiveness and cost of the actions.
Task 2 – Analysis the survey and interview results to find gaps that require more studies. Develop an interim report to document the survey, interview, and the results of the gap study.
Task 4 – Develop solutions for the gaps identified in Task 3.
Task 5 – Develop a draft guideline for incorporating risk management (including risks caused by climate change) in maintenance practice. Develop a prototype tool that implements the framework suggested in the draft guideline to facilitate trad-off decisions for better management limited resources and prioritize work.
Task 6 – Work with volunteer states to conduct at least two pilot projects to validate/test the developed guideline and tool. Feedbacks from the pilot states will be discussed and addressed to finalize the deliverables.
Urgency and Potential Benefits
Risk based asset management is still at its early stage in practice. Risk assessment and management framework that takes climate change and maintenance practice into consideration is rarely studied. This is an important topic for owners to make informed decision and allocate funding more effectively at enterprise, program, and project levels. Guidelines and tools are immediately needed to facilitate this practice.
Workshops/Webinars will be developed and delivered to help state DOT personnel understand the developed guideline and prototype tool. The prototype tool will be tested and further developed into a product tool following the developed guideline and considering state specific risk factors. State DOTs will be responsible for engaging the necessary staff and conducting a risk assessment for their ongoing maintenance practices and implementing updated maintenance practices when possible.
What existing venues or processes could be used to support implementation?
It is a key that senior executives, policy makers and program managers need to have a communication plan to communicate with peers to effectively integrate risk management in maintenance decision making. Additional products and activities like training workshops to increase the integration of risk management into maintenances practices, as well as peer exchanges and informative presentations can help state DOTs adopt the concept in their practice with positive impacts.
Others Supporting Problem Statement
Potential Panel Members
Person Submitting Statement
Ranked 3 in 2021