Successful Practices for Managing Uncertainty: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

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Successful Practices for Managing Uncertainty: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic


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Among the many difficulties raised by COVID-19, the pandemic does have the potential of affecting asset management practices in diverse ways. On the one hand, reduced traffic might reduce road maintenance costs; on the other hand, ordering more goods might increase truck traffic and thus increase deterioration. Even if deterioration were the same, the road agency would always have the option of utilizing a less expensive treatment alternative and thus reduce the capital needs and maintenance budget.

Literature Search Summary

● FHWA case study on fiscal management during pandemic (focus on accomplishing work opportunistically vs. narrow risk-management focus)
● 2020 State DOT COVID-19 Response Survey: Use of Transportation Data and Information for Decision Makers


● Survey and interview State DOTs and others as to their practices during COVID. For example: observe their budget outlays, activities performed and data collection.
● Focus on uncertainty in general - such as funding uncertainty; the results could be utilized for good practices not just in times of widespread disease, but also for times of economic austerity such as a recession. Note: The visualization committee (AED80) has been kicking around a research idea related to how to VISUALIZE uncertainty. Could be a good opportunity to collaborate with that TRB committee. Anne-Marie McDonell and Matt Haubrich are both on AED80 so feel free to reach out.
● Potential to focus on risk management with respect to federal TPM target-setting (rather than risk management with respect to funding uncertainty).

Urgency and Potential Benefits

Question of understanding impacts vs. position for post-pandemic

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