Deanna – What would you like to be measuring but can’t or don’t know how?
Alan Warde – NYSDOT – an assessment of what it means to have private sector build out EV charging. I’ve been very involved with NEVI program – have yet to find a state who says yes, we want to be responsible for all the chargers. Being able to find out where does the public management of chargers end and private management begin? What policies are needed, how to we measure equity, access, etc. Feels like a very important question.
- Neha Galgali – NJDOT – does this have to go through the NEPA process? For EV chargers?
Nathaniel Vogt – Ohio DOT: we are working on Carbon Reduction Strategy and Resiliency Improvement Plan. We’ve had a few questions come up about how to measure performance and goals on resiliency and reducing emissions from the transportation system.
Michael Grant – ICF – you showed so many projects related to equity, when we had the TRB conference, there were a lot of topics around equity and performance measures. That could be an interesting synthesis – think there are several agencies starting to work on this.
Alan Warde – NYSDOT – getting clarification from FHWA/FTA on how they are thinking about Justice40. We are seeing that they are offering multiple tools that give you different answers on how to measure equity impacts. Trying to get some clarity on impacts and how they want to see these tools used. May be constrained as a research topic – but it is a need that we are struggling with at New York State DOT.
Deanna – ALICE is a favorite I’m thinking about. Will be related to equity. It was new to me and MnDOT in December, so looking at the data, who is using the data, how are they using it. MnDOT also looking at a measure of housing and transportation cost – two big items that are related. We put together an indicator – that’s how we start by looking at the data and then seeing how it might work later with decision-making. Helpful to start with observing for a bit.
- When we first started the Task Force last year, the two topics that came up were accessibility and equity.
- MnDOT is also looking at destination and access, but still figuring out a lot of those details and still in the emerging camp.
suggested by James Bradbury – Georgetown Climate Center
Maybe an implementation project for Report 985 (Integrating Effective Transportation Performance, Risk, and Asset Management Practices)
Chris Whipple (UDOT)
Spencer Wagner (DCDOT)
How are DOTs estimating unit costs for TAM, what is included, how are they utilized,
As we have more new techniques for managing assets using trenchless technology, do we know the expected life and subsequent treatments for these assets.
Susan Lime, NM DOT
- Looking at current practice and examples from states like NM. Utah looking beyond engineering disciplines. Multidisciplinary teams. What do agencies need from TAM professionals? Competencies for asset management. Mapping needs (TAM Guide may have needs) to core skills.
- (Not sure if we limit to just Univ - we talked about other options)
Susan Lime (Culvery Asset Management Program - CAMP), NM DOT
Chris Whipple, UDOT
- Organizational strategies for improvement
- Innovation challenges
- Thinking outside the LSS, Lean methodologies
- Office of competition at the federal level - mechanism exists at the - - - federal level
- Crowdsourcing improvement efforts
Potential benefit if you can align political and departmental alignment
Always need to balance top-down and bottom-up, operationalization of it
**Involvement of those doing the work is critical to long-term success - what are the contributing factors to make large-scale efforts successful?
How do you build a movement in transportation
Customer-, Environment- centric momentum for organizational change - What are the key components needed to make process?
Related organizational changes needed to make it happen?
Dave - Brene Brown - “Clarity is Kindness” in all that we do, find tools that help break down barriers.
Ties in with KM, OM, Risk, etc.
(Of the ones recommended, Gary and Gehan support this one the most)
Changing over the fleet
Incorporating uncertainty into forecasting, target-setting, and monitoring - low /high matrix - inflation, funding,
performance, modeling uncertainty envelope (synthesis/peer exchange in lieu of research project?) (Risk as a
band of uncertainty v. a number) - Charles Pilson
There was a recent research idea on how to visualize/communicate uncertainty. Maybe a TAM conference
The RMS also has "ERM - Improving Risk Visualization and Communication Internally and Externally"
in the candidate pool. Not sure if that's related to the idea of communicating uncertainty? - Matt Haubrich
(please add clarifying details and topic title suggestions)
Many states and local jurisdictions have deployed some level of automated technologies , such as low speed shuttles, and or have partnered with private agencies or research institutions to do so
Little performance or other information is available in a consolidated and organized fashion about the results of these pilots, test cases and or deployments
Policy makers have become guarded about investing in pilots and similar deployments, especially given the recent disillusionment with technology potentials such as AVs, CVs and CAVs and want to understand what benefits and results have been achieved.
Challenges may include the availability of data, data agreements (which often preclude external data sharing) and or lack of sufficient data in cases of short term pilots.
What kind of data is available, can be analyzed and summarized into a consolidated report to understand 1. what pilot shave been conducted (over past x/3 years? ) and 2. What is the performance of these pilots and or deployments in terms of safety and system efficiency and operation? (Similar interest exists in understanding equity impacts but those would be even harder to quantify and are not included , unless data is available).
Potential partnership with Eastern Corridor Coalition
please add clarifying details and topic title suggestions)
More cross-modal (other than vehicle) data; specifically: pedestrian, bicycle and certain transit data is needed for various applications and needs including Complete Streets, We need more and better quality, verified data for transit, bikes, peds, and non-car users.
Includes examining options for data availability, quality, validity, analytics.
Stephanie Dock, Daniel Hulker, and Daniela Bremmer were interested in further defining/developing this research concept and invited other CPBM and subcommittee members to join.
Potential partnership with Eastern Corridor Coalition's-data group (working on methodologies for assessing and standardizing cross-modal non-vehicular data)?
Jun Liu of U of Alabama suggested this at the first COPlanning Research Symposium, but it has SMET implications. (I,e EV fires , other )
Should SMET be lead? Partnering with COP, CTSO, others? Options? (Should we pursue this? Reach out to Planning? Add more context description?)
Focus on critical transportation planning issues and better addressing resilience, access, environmental protection, and financial limitations.
Focus on new infrastructure needs, air quality, and transportation revenue
To be able to adjust for demographic changes, transformational technologies, and other uncertainties.
note: this also falls under the Equity (E) category
Note: this research is also in the Governance and Decision Making (G/DM) category
Note: short term need
Consider an implementation project for NCHRP Research Report 980 Attracting, Retaining, and Developing the Transportation Workforce: Transportation Planners published in 2021
What is it, is there a common definition, why is it important, is it different from various stakeholder perspectives, and how to achieve it through DOT infrastructure and program investments
Research to improve DOTs capability and capacity for data-driven decision making.
Research to advance the discipline of data-driven decision making within State DOTs
NCHRP Project 23-27 Strategies to Strengthen Data-Driven Decision Making Details here.
This research would produce an updated guidebook of current and emerging performance
measures used and for use by State DOTs.
NCHRP 20-24(37)G – Technical Guidance for
Deploying National Level Performance Measurements was completed in 2011. This project
would update this valuable guidance.
Create a best practices guide for using data to inform equitable deployments of AVs and shared mobility.
Multiple research efforts have looked at the disciplines of Performance Measures, Risk Management, and Process Improvement. The high-level definition of these three disciplines are as follows:
• Performance management is setting measurements for delivering processes and products to provide feedback on the overall performance and ensure goals are met effectively and efficiently. Performance management may include measures for people, processes, or products.
• Risk management is a methodology that looks at risks (uncertainties) on all levels, including activity, project, program, and strategic risks. Risk Management aims to identify, assess and prepare for potential losses that may interfere with transportation operations and objectives.
• Process improvement involves the business practice of defining, analyzing, and improving processes to optimize performance and improve the experience for the end-users.
While these disciplines are heavily researched individually, very little research has taken place regarding the relationship between the three efforts and the benefits and challenges of linking them. Generally, the steps are established and separately treated within the specific system, which may impact efficiency, create redundancies, and disrupt the plans due to mixed responses. Developing the different relationships among the processes and then identifying a framework linking these processes can provide efficiencies across agencies and align efforts more readily to overarching goals and objectives. This research request is to develop a framework to support the link between the three disciplines or if improvements are needed within each discipline to support and connect to the others.
All transportation agencies must effectively manage asset condition and performance while identifying and addressing risks potentially undermining performance goals. In order to provide well maintained, reliable, and up to date networks, three management practices work together within an agency. Process improvement is the task of identifying, then proactively improving the current processes within an organization in order to achieve greater efficiency, functionality, and quality. Performance management utilizes system information to strategically achieve investment or policy goals. Risk management works to identify and mitigate uncertainties that may arise by using analytical and managerial strategies. Past research has often focused on these management practices separately, or one in conjunction with another. This study aims to show how effective linking of these management practices leads to improved organizational functions overall.
Process improvement is of general interest to DOT’s as well as any large organization seeking to improve internal efficiency and quality of established processes. As a result, past study has been performed into the subject of improving internal processes within an organizational framework, though less research exists on process improvement within DOT’s. Study often focuses on improvement in a specific process, as opposed to a more holistic view of overall process improvement within an organizational context. Process improvement has also been linked in study to risk management, as risk management processes require consistent improvement to meet new challenges.
Risk management has been a particular focus of much past research. It has been suggested that by managing performance to achieve objectives the risks to those objectives can be identified and mitigated accordingly. A well-considered evaluation can lead to substantial rewards and accomplishments. Whether it is at the top of an organization's strategy, or it is on the frontline of the organization's daily operations, risk management should be ingrained in the daily operations of the organization. From the active discipline perspective, risk may also be defined as: “The systematic application of policies, procedures, and practices to the identification and management of uncertainty or variability on achievement of agency objectives.” In order to describe boundaries, similar to the risk appetite, the agency needs to consider general guidance on risk treatment-selection decisions. Since risks differ, it is unlikely that there will be a precise guide that is suitable for all decisions. An analysis of benefits and costs should be considered in categories where costs and benefits can be estimated. Research has also been performed into how risk is now inferred or implicit in many decisions concerning agency investments. The selection of pavement treatment sections is based in part on the risk associated with providing poor pavement to high-volume roads compared to low-volume roads. The project selection process takes into account the risks caused by missing or inadequate traffic control devices or by potential structural failures.
Regarding the relationship of performance measures to other management practices, past research has suggested that current FHWA rules do not workably link performance and risk, leaving a DOT’s management of these elements to be uneven. However, research has indicated that these systems of management prove to be most effective when working hand in hand. Effective Performance measures and related management, along with the definition and quantification of risk, is essential to risk management. Likewise risk management informs performance management about the projection of uncertain elements such as funding.
Overall, this study will build on past research by creating an effective frameworking linking process improvement, performance measures, and risk management within the organizational context of a transportation agency. This will provide more detail on the relationship between these management practices and the benefit that a strong relationship between them brings to an organization.
The objectives of this research are:
1. Gather information on best practices for each discipline.
2. Clearly outline successes and best practices in each field.
3. Define any obstacles and opportunities that may exist in linking the disciplines.
4. Highlight common/uncommon language between the disciplines that may cause confusion.
5. Develop a framework on how to best link the disciplines.
6. Determine the best communication tools to support the framework.
Without the establishment of a global framework that links performance measures with risk management, and process improvement, the future efficiency of DOT’s may be impacted and redundancies in workflow and information systems may be introduced. Additionally, communications between parties at DOT’s may be affected without the incorporation of process improvement, leading to disruption of plans due to mixed responses. Improving the framework by which risk and performance are measured may be financially beneficial, due to increased efficiency and more proficient communications between parties. Developing the relations between these three processes within a framework may mitigate the aforementioned issues while simultaneously aligning agencies in their efforts to reach key goals and objectives.
Within a DOT, it is expected that employees and directors directly associated with development of process improvement, along with Risk and Performance Management departments will be the most likely to utilize the results of this research. Any departments within a DOT associated with Process Improvement and Risk/Performance Management through project work would also utilize this information. After research is complete, a DOT will be able to implement study findings by updating or strengthening their current risk management and performance measurement strategies based on the reported study results. Training, any required updating of systems, and development of new processes may be required. Presentation of study findings to risk or performance management managers, and other project managers within the DOT could be an effective method of creating awareness of updates to current risk and performance measurement and management practices. Communication of findings can be relayed to departments associated with risk or performance management, to ensure that updated practices can be implemented across multiple levels.
AASHTO Strategic Plan Alignment: This project aligns to the AASHTO Strategic Plan by developing transportation standards and guidance. This research will aid DOTs in the furthering of organizational excellence and effective services by providing a framework through which risk and performance can be effectively measured while creating improved processes organizationally. This framework will further align internal and external agencies and their transportation interests by suggesting global updates to effective performance and risk management. As current guidelines are analyzed and potential updates are identified, transportation agencies and systems can improve through the promotion and implementation of these new processes. From this endeavor, DOTs will be able to develop continual process improvement, ensure stronger alignment among committees, and in turn create effective transportation workforce capabilities.
Risk communication is the act of sharing information about potential threats to people and infrastructure with the objective of saving life and property. This covers a wide range of information, including asset condition, mobility, safety, economic impacts, environmental impacts, and others. Effective verbal, visual, and written communication promotes the recovery of disrupted systems while maintaining public confidence in these systems. This requires that all communication tracks be congruent and effective.
Barriers to effective risk communication exist, both internally and externally. One major barrier to internal communication is organizational “siloing”. Staff working within different functional areas (such as safety, operations, and emergency management) may feel little incentive to collaborate if they believe their missions are independent of other departments. Organizational silos result in duplication of effort and inefficiency, and lack of various perspectives in approaching problems.
Another major obstacle is delivering the appropriate message at the right time with clear language that speaks to all audiences. If not properly delivered, communication may inadvertently create hysteria, unease, and confusion. Barriers to external communications with outside agencies stem from a lack of established two-way communications channels, dissimilar language, and varying definitions of risk. Communications with the public and others need to eliminate rumors, lack of expert consensus, over-hyped reporting, failure to understand of ethnic differences, and so on. Ultimately, overcoming these obstacles requires:
• Leadership direction including a reality-based vision, the "path forward", and incentives to interact
• Organizational support from multiple groups
• Clear definition of both Inter- and intra-agencies including:
- What collaboration may look like
- The reason and importance of the collaboration
- How and when collaboration takes place
• Partnerships with community organizations
• Defined and appropriate language for messaging that effectively outlines the hazards, severity, location, affected population, and uncertainty of risk
• Alignment of verbal, visual, and written communications to relay complementary messages.
• Selection of appropriate messaging vehicles (email, variable message sign, web site, etc.)
These efforts require research to identify the best methods and current examples of how to implement such communication at a DOT. As many options exist for internal and external risk communication, and various agencies and organizations have their own communication requirements, effective research will provide a path forward to establishing effective risk visualization and communication at a DOT.
Review of existing literature on developing effective communication techniques, risk visualization, and implementing these initiatives in transportation agencies reveals that there are studies into aspects of these topics, but this proposed research will combine these aspects into a single topic. Previous research includes studies into project improvements through effective communication and its results, the relationship between collaboration and performance across regional safety coalitions, study into the issues of effectively conveying risk, especially among multiple assets, and the use of visualization and modelling to communicate ideas and facilitate communication among transportation planners and agencies. Literature on these topics and others provide information on aspects of communication that are useful to agencies. This research will combine the focus of these previous studies into specifically identifying how to effectively develop communication of risk visualization both within a DOT and with its partner agencies, as well as the public at large. This effort will provide specific inquiry into this subject, providing DOT’s and their partner agencies with valuable information on combining effective communication strategies with risk visualization techniques. This builds on previous study, which covered aspects of communication at DOT’s, risk communication, and other related topics, while not combining such study into a specific project.
The objectives of this research are to develop guidance in the following initiatives which can be used to develop effective risk visualization communication within DOT’s, with external agencies, and the public in the by performing study into the following initiatives:
1. Establishing intra-agency communication.
2. Establishing external partnerships and two-way communications channels with community organizations.
3. Crafting an effective visual, verbal, and written communication strategy with materials (ie., metrics, dashboards, regular reports) with a clear explanation of uncertainty.
4. Determining the appropriate message vehicle.
This research will examine current strategies and methods of risk visualization communication at various DOT’s. Internal communication, two-way communication channels with external organizations, associated strategies, and other aspects of communication in relation to risk visualization will be extensively explored.
Ineffective communication on Risk Visualization at DOT’s may lead to incomplete risk management and a lack of understanding of potential risks associated with DOT projects. This understandably can create severe issues that impact multiple people. Ineffective communication may cause breakdowns of information between agency departments internally, and with external parties. Lack of understanding of potential risks may lead to projects which do not mitigate these risks and create dangerous situations for users. Significant financial investment may be required to mitigate dangers that were missed due to ineffective risk management communication, or to ensure that missed information is eventually communicated. Ensuring that risk visualization is properly communicated and understood among DOTs, related departments, and the community, more effective lines of communications within an agency lead to effective understanding of potential risks, and the mitigation of these risk to create safe situations across transportation systems.
Within a DOT, it is expected that employees and directors associated with Risk Management departments will be the most likely to utilize the results of this research. Any departments within a DOT associated with Risk Management through project work would also utilize this information. After research is complete, a DOT will be able to implement study findings by developing or strengthening their current risk visualization communication strategies based on the reported study results. Training, any required updating of systems, and development of new processes may be required. Presentation of study findings to risk management managers, and other project managers within the DOT could be an effective method of creating awareness of new techniques for improving communication related to risk visualizations. Communication of findings can be relayed to departments associated with risk management, to ensure that communication strategies can be implemented across multiple levels (and in order to prevent departmental ‘siloing’).
LINK TO 2021-2026 AASHTO STRATEGIC PLAN: This project aligns to the AASHTO Strategic Plan by providing information that will help DOTs develop further organizational excellence and effective services in knowing how to create the best risk communication strategies that will share risk information both internally and with external agencies and the public at large. Knowledge of risks will lead to better transportation products and services by helping to identify what aspects of transportation require improvement and safety enhancement. This will also lead to further examination of current and emerging trends present in transportation policies and practices, while promoting a range of new policy options that can be implemented. This project will align with AASHTO’s plan to provide safety, mobility, and access for everyone by providing blueprints for effective communication with external agencies and the public. By making the public aware of potential risks, and pursuing solutions to these risks, DOTs will be able ensure that social equity within the public sphere is preserved while transportation systems are made safer. Effective communication with community organizations, especially, will forge strong connections between transportation agencies with public interest.
The ability to effectively communicate risks both within an agency and externally to key stakeholders is important in decision-making and assuring effective mitigation strategies are assigned and appropriate resources are dedicated. Risk management is an effective tool for decision-making but communicating risks, potential impacts and likelihood of occurrence as well as appropriate mitigation is often not well understood.
This proposal builds off of a similar RPS developed as part of NCHRP 20-123(04) but adds in and emphasizes the element of visualization to improve communication. It also emphasizes the concept of risk tolerance.
“Risk” can simply be defined as an uncertainty that presents either an opportunity or a threat regarding an agency’s ability to carry out their mission. Thus, agency success in risk management rests on the ability to quantify the impacts of the full range of uncertainties that may apply to them. Typically, these impacts are assessed in terms of the agency’s existing performance measures, like asset condition or safety. However, there may be much more to the story in terms of the potential for value creation or cost-cutting related to uncertainty. This would mean not only identifying and quantifying all sources of value/cost related to uncertainty, but would also mean considering risk management as integral to asset management, and not just an afterthought or add-on to traditional condition-based asset management.
As part of this, an agency would need to quantify the benefits and costs of their risk management efforts overall. For example, “We have met X% of our risk mitigation goals in the fiscal year”. Hence, depending upon the nature of the goals and objectives of an agency’s risk management program, it is essential for the agency to have a “framework” that satisfies their management needs with appropriate measures, tools, methods, and processes. The term ”metrics” is a useful term for not only defining appropriate “measures” for quantifying risk-related entities, but also in articulating how these measures will be utilized in the overall risk management framework. This research is intended to explore the current practices and state-of-the-art for metrics, and identify potential options that would be suitable for transportation agencies in the future.
Much progress has been made in recent years regarding transportation agency capabilities in risk management. There are good examples across agencies regarding these successes, including risk management plans documented in their 2019 TAMP submissions. Guidance and clear objectives provided at the time were instrumental in driving agencies in their approaches and processes for identifying and managing risks, and documenting their plans accordingly. It was clear in 2019 that good things were happening.
But there is still significant room for increasing these capabilities, especially given the diversity of agencies, the types of risks and uncertainties they face, and the breadth and depths of the frameworks, methods, tools and valid processes that are needed to meet increasing requirements for consistency and success in risk reduction across agencies. The term “new metrics” has been coined for a reason, in order to elevate risk management to a new level, where a comprehensive examination of cost cutting and value creation options is conducted in managing the range of uncertainties that agencies face. The following section explicitly illustrates why additional research is necessary for agencies to be able to meet evolving requirements in risk management.
The purpose of this research is to:
1) Document practitioners’ ideas and preferences for managing risks and assessing the value-add of risk management programs. Some of these may be based on their current practices, and some may be based on methods they have intended to try.
2) Gather best practices for managing risks, valuing risk management overall, and implementing process improvement across the public and private sectors, including the use of “metrics” as part of these sound practices.
3) Create the basis for a “roadmap” that defines a coherent evolution in the use of performance metrics for risk management which is sensitive to the differences in agency situations, maturities in risk management, and diversity of threats they face.
4) Develop practical, actionable guidance for developing and using risk management metrics in transportation agencies.
Overall Requirements for Metrics: References for valid risk management processes and methods are helpful in getting organized to manage risk across an agency or enterprise. These include ISO 31000 and the AASHTO Enterprise Risk Management Guide. However, in order to fully cover the myriad types of threats that agencies may face, especially when these agencies are a diverse group in the first place, requires a robust approach to defining the metrics and the overarching framework they are used within. As a good example, the themes presented in 23 CFR 667 provide some help in understanding what a solid framework might consist of.
At first glance, a reasonable interpretation of key requirements from the “Evaluation” section of 23 CFR 667 might include the following:
• Consideration of a full spectrum of risks that may affect agencies, including threats on the transportation network, uncertainties in delivering projects as intended, risks associated with hitting performance targets (or not), and programmatic or organizational risks that could threaten success.
• Estimating future “risk costs” of each threat, across multiple criteria such as asset damage, safety impacts, traffic delays, environmental damage, and economic impact.
• Identifying and considering (“evaluating”) a full range of risk management strategies; some of which may present synergies and/or compromises to traditional, condition-based asset treatments and strategies that are also being proposed.
• Assuring that “risk management” is part of the discussion regarding resource allocation, and that risk reduction efforts are discussed “at the table” along with other asset management priorities
• Quantifying the risk reduction of each candidate solution in terms of annualized dollars.
• Estimating the cost and duration of each candidate solution, management strategy, etc.
• Managing implemented strategies over time by monitoring, continuously improving, etc.
Challenges to Defining Metrics: Risk management methods vary across transportation agencies and if similar they are likely implemented inconsistently. Also important is not only “who” within an organization is responsible for managing a risk management program, but what the bounds of that program may be. As such, risk priorities can vary based on differences in geography, agency size, financial circumstances, politics, topography, climate, agency organization, and many other factors. Finally, the types of threats and uncertainties that affect any one agency may be wide-ranging, from flooding to workforce management issues to funding variability. As a result, the details of an effective risk management approach, including metrics, will need to be sensitive to these differences between agencies. These details include a robust set of applicable frameworks, processes, methods, tools, and sources of information.
Need to understand and demonstrate risk-tolerance associated with decision-making within agencies. This relates to both potential threats and opportunities.
This proposal builds on the draft problem statement outlined in the NCHRP 20-123(04). The background has been acceptably defined. The objectives should be modified to further emphasize risk perception and development of ways to assess and communicate risk tolerance.
Emphasis on developing tools and methodologies to document risk tolerance and acceptance parameters associated with taking risks.
State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies are working to deliver greater resiliency in their transportation systems. Agencies are changing established business processes, technical methodologies, tools, and systems to build resiliency. In order to achieve sustainable change and have lasting improvements in resiliency, agencies need to also address organizational culture in order to bring about greater enthusiasm and focus on resiliency building.
Organizational culture is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. It focuses on building shared values to achieve the organization's goals and objectives. When transportation agencies have good organizational culture, employees know how agency executives want them to respond to any situation, employees believe that the expected response is the proper one, and employees know that they will be rewarded for demonstrating the organization's values.
Greater understanding of the elements of good organizational culture and how it can be applied to transportation agencies to achieve greater resiliency is needed. This research project would include identification of agencies that have had success in building resiliency and examine what elements of organizational change supported the successful resilience building. Research on sectors outside of transportation where resilience is important would be conducted to understand the organizational culture elements. The ingredients for building organizational culture to achieve greater focus on building resilience will be created for transportation agencies.
The proposed research be composed of the following components:
• Conduct a literature/practice review of the relevant information
• Identify organizational practices and determine how they can be generalized to support guidance
• Develop guidance for agencies
• Demonstrate/evaluate guidance through at least one case study
• Produce a final report including an executive summary
Both federal and recipient agencies have the goal of maximizing the public benefits from investment of the limited transportation funding. Additionally, there is a cost and/or risk to every activity or inaction related to program delivery. Whenever an available dollar is moved from physical or operational improvements on the system to program administration, the public loses the benefit of that dollar. Similarly, every dollar that is lost from the system because of fraud or diverted away from the program goals due to whatever form of mismanagement, the public loses the intended benefit of that dollar. Therefore, the goal of all agencies should be to minimize the negative risks and costs associated with administering the funding programs, even if that means the occasional dollar is lost to fraud or mismanagement when the cost to prevent that loss is greater than the cost of the loss itself. It seems especially important to avoid duplicative administrative costs generated from the various governmental levels. The essential issue is determining the end-user public return on investment (ROI) from adding program requirements for both the federal agency and the recipient agency.
Develop a means of determining the balance between program requirements that minimize the risks of fraud and/or of not meeting program goals with maximizing the benefits to the end users (i.e., the public).
In many cases, states and other local government agencies have performance measures developed through the extensive public outreach in the various federally and internally required strategic planning efforts. Not surprisingly, these “local” performance measures are often related to but different from the federally mandated performance measures.
For example, freight mobility in an urban area often means travel time (i.e., traditional congestion), similar to the federal system performance measures (PM3); however, in a rural area, it means the system’s ability to carry the desired loads (i.e., height, width, and load restrictions not meeting expectations causing loads to be rerouted over longer distances). In either case, the results are wasted time, money, and fuel, and more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reducing this waste is really the goal of the federal measures above. Therefore, the same goal is being monitored, whether using the federal measures or the state and local (hereinafter, local) performance measures. This is just one example of many similarly developed local performance measures related to a national goal area but with different metrics and definitions than the national measures.
By definition, the local measures are important to the end users of the transportation system by virtue of being developed through public input. Therefore, local policymakers often want or require these measures to be used in the decision processes and to tell the local story of transportation performance, safety, condition, etc. (hereinafter, performance). It would reduce waste and improve public transparency if these local measures could also be used to tell the national system performance story. This would avoid potentially conflicting messages from local and national sources and avoid the duplicate work of collecting, monitoring, and analyzing similar measures related to the same basic goal. Additionally, the collective of local measures could be used to tell a more comprehensive and complete story of the nation’s overall movement toward its shared transportation goals through a “drill down” approach of providing greater and greater detail from the national level through the regional, state, and local community levels.
Keyword searches in the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) TRID and Research in Progress (RIP) systems were performed for research related to:
• Performance Measures, Communicating
• Communicating Performance
• “National Performance”
Several projects were found related to but not overlapping this proposed topic, with the newest one being a 2015 document specific to State Department of Transportation (DOT) performance story telling. The most relevant document was a 2011 periodical article titled “Measuring Infrastructure Performance: Development of a National Infrastructure Index.” However, not only is that article dated, but it does not address the underlying research question of if and how local measures, important to the public, can be used to tell a national story about national goals.
Develop a means of consolidating the many related local measures into a set of national measures that describes and monitors how well the national transportation system is meeting (or not meeting) the traveling public’s needs as related to Congress’ strategic goals for the nation’s transportation system.
The current system of detailed nationally-defined measures monitored and reported by States and MPOs, along with locally-mandated and -defined measures, yields state, local, and national messages to the public that are often conflicting or at least are not readily understandable to the public. Additionally, collecting data on related but different measures is a duplicative burden to States DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) that is wasteful of scarce resources. Therefore, if measures that are developed with close input from the transportation system end users could be collectively used to monitor the national system’s ability to meet strategic goals, the messages to the public would be more understandable and would come at a lower cost. On a national scale, that lower cost is likely to be a very substantial savings over the current framework, given the sheer number of reporting entities (i.e., State DOTs, MPOs, transit agencies, highway safety offices, etc.).
Complete implementation would likely require Congressional action through the transportation bill reauthorization because some federal measures are dictated in the current Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law). However, in most cases, implementation could be accomplished through the federal administrative rulemaking processes.
As funding for resource allocation increase and decrease each year it is critical for agencies to ensure that they are spending the resources the best they can and meeting as many needs as possible. The challenge of meeting condition needs vs operational needs vs quality of life is increasing each year for agencies. Thus, as agencies work each year to make resource allocation decisions for multiple service areas, and analysis the impacts of these decisions are often difficult to captured with performance measures. For example, condition measures for physical asset classes (pavements, bridges, etc.); performance measures for system operations (snow and ice control, traffic operations, emergency response) and quality of life measures (safety, accessibility, equity) are used by agencies to evaluate these resource allocations. State agencies generally have flexibility to adjust the level of investment of these categories, yet evaluation of the tradeoffs or optimization of these decisions are often limited to similar measures (bridge condition vs pavement condition). Is there potential benefit in expanding the scope of these analyses to include performance measures and investment classes of less similar nature. What tools do agencies use for this cross-asset allocation; How are the tools used for asset resource allocations to include services and quality of life investments?
Keyword searches in TRB’s TRID and RIP systems were performed for research related to:
• “Resource Allocation”
• “Cross Resource Allocation”
• “Cross Investment”
A search was also conducted on the Transportation Performance Management (TPM) Portal :
• Tools>Featured Tools>MODAT
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 806: Cross-Asset Resource Allocation and the Impact on Transportation System Performance developed a cross-asset resource allocation framework, a spreadsheet tool and guidance.
A subsequent project culminated in NCHRP Report 921:Case Studies in Cross-Asset, Multi-Objective Decision Analysis , which updated the NCHRP Report 806 spreadsheet tool and developed case studies illustrating multi-object decision analysis (MODA) applications. The Multi-Objective Decision Analysis Tool (MODAT) developed as part of this project helps prioritize candidate projects on a range of different objectives. MODAT can be accessed at: https://multiobjective.org/.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also developed a web-based training (WBT) training curriculum for performance-based prioritization using Multi-Objective Decision Analysis (MODA). This training is intended to educate and expose practitioners to the use of MODA.
Indiana DOT is scoring all of their projects based upon 7 categories including safety, congestion, environment, regional and state economic contribution, Intermodal connectivity, and total cost of ownership. This synthesis would be an extension of the research started here, specifically providing additional case studies of states implementing cross-investment allocation and considering investment categories other than physical assets.
1. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Transportation Performance Management (TPM) Portal. https://www.tpm-portal.com/. Accessed June 2022.
2. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2015. NCHRP Report 806: Guide to Cross-Asset Resource Allocation and the Impact on Transportation System Performance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/22177.
3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. NCHRP Report 921: Case Studies in Cross-Asset, Multi-Objective Resource Allocation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25684
4. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. MODAT Tool. https://multiobjective.org. Accessed June 2022
5. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “Performance-Based Prioritization Using Multi-Objective Decision Analysis (MODA). Web-Based Training. AASHTO Store. Washington DC. https://store.transportation.org/Item/TrainingDetail?ID=4506. Accessed June 2022
Investigate, compile, and categorize examples of organizations’ efforts of using performance measures and data supported tools for cross resource allocation and goal-oriented decisions.
As agencies make tough resourcing decisions every year, this synthesis would be useful to capture how the research products and tools described above are being used, along with any other methods state DOTs are using to make multi-objective resource allocation decisions. Research has shown that multi-objective resource allocation can be done. This synthesis could answer “Is it being done?” and if so, “How is it being done?”
The product of this research would be a synthesis of the practice, facilitating knowledge transfer to performance management practitioners.
Transportation agencies traditionally had a very steady workforce. The combination of changes in young people’s work patterns and the economic changes that drive workforce availability requires that agencies need to act more proactively on how to deliver transportation programs. Research is needed to understand the behavioral patterns and mechanisms to both mitigate variability in workforce availability and what can be done proactively to benefit the agency.
With the increased funding states are receiving based on the IIJA and BFP. NMDOT has identified the fact that we may run into contractor availability to meet the needs of the upcoming projects.
Several states have established offices to implement continuous improvement processes such as Lean, Design Thinking, or Change Management. Over 30 of these offices participate in the Transportation Lean Forum (TLF), an informal group that operates in association with the AASHTO Subcommittee on Organization Management. In addition to formal offices, some states make less formal “grass roots” efforts to improve their processes. A synthesis would conduct a side-by-side study of the states’ efforts, including efforts in states that are not participating in the TLF, find what is working and what is not, assist states to identify improvements that they might implement, and set a baseline of the current “state of the art” that could inform future research on the outcomes of these efforts.
Lean Improvement research questions:
Efficiency research questions:
Lean Improvement: Several DOTs have established offices to implement continuous improvement processes such as Lean, Design Thinking, or Change Management. These include a t least thirty US States, five Canadian Provinces, England, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
Efficiencies: Several state DOTs (e.g., CA, MN, OH) and England are required to submit annual efficiency reports.
(30 states + other agencies have initiatives). What can be learned from these efforts? For instance, in England, the focus is on construction-only. (Nigel)
Transportation and its infrastructure are not ends in themselves but means for accessing places for economic activity, i.e., overcoming the friction between where you are and where you want to be. Transportation agencies, departments of transportation (DOTs), and other infrastructure owner-operators (IOOs) work to create public value in providing safe mobility. This is balanced with a desire to support societal goals and improve the quality of life. Many agencies continue evolving toward community-centered transportation by adopting more comprehensive and outcome-oriented goals for accessibility, affordability, resiliency, sustainability, public health, and security.
Measuring these less conventional outcomes (compared to traffic delay or pavement condition, for example) remains an immature practice and not widely done. There is a legacy of a strong, institutionalized bias toward infrastructure- and auto-oriented performance. Yet many emerging measures are closely tied to diverse societal goals, and practice is advancing in pockets around the country, including efforts to influence investment decision-making through a more comprehensive performance framework.
There is limited published literature on measuring transportation performance related to the more comprehensive – or “non-traditional” – outcomes like equity or resilience, but some examples include:
• National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 20-68D Scan 22-03: Leading Practices in Equitable Decision Making to Support Societal Goals within Transportation Agencies
• NCHRP Report 985: Integrating Effective Transportation Performance, Risk, and Asset Management Practices
• NCHRP Report 920: Management and Use of Data for Transportation Performance Management: Guide for Practitioners
• NCHRP 08-162: Guidance for Implementing Equitable Transportation Decision-Making
• NCHRP Project: 08-121 Accessibility Measures in Practice: Guidance for Transportation Agencies (research is complete, the final report is under review)
Apart from published guidance, a wealth of information and data are available on these topics from the numerous agencies actively developing and utilizing newer measures. This research project will include a scan of those agencies – e.g., Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and others– to gather evidence and examples.
Comprehensive transportation performance management research should not be confused with social value analysis. Though related and often sharing the same data sources, the purposes and methods are very distinct.
Other ongoing research and development are available from efforts related to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) 2022 Equity Action Plan and Justice40 initiative, the Federal Transit Administration’s work in these areas, Federally supported Geographic Information System (GIS) tools (example), measuring the benefits of access or public transportation, the 2022 greenhouse gas (GHG) rulemaking process, and others.
The research will also draw on best practices in performance management, emerging guidance from organizations such as the National League of Cities, international decision-making frameworks, and other sectors where these measures are not considered “non-traditional.”
From the perspective of getting to a more coherent national practice, the objective of this research is to get our proverbial arms around how to do this better. This begins with documenting the current state of the art, identifying methodological and institutional gaps, and charting a path toward elevating practice nationwide.
This research goal will take lessons learned from the evolution of traditional measures like pavement condition or level of service, each decades in the making and continuing to evolve, be reimagined, or even discarded. Once-novel travel time reliability is also now a “traditional” measure, but not before the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) began 15 years ago. This research will evolve contemporary measures, help expand emerging leading practices for adoption by agencies around the nation, and advance improved measurement, integration, and incorporation of important policy goals into investment decision-making.
The objectives of this research also directly support the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO’s) current formulation of the moonshot to reorient our transportation goals and investments to support communities. More effectively measuring the “non-traditional” strategic goals is fundamental to tracking our moonshot progress.
The public, society at large, is demanding that we consider transportation outcome performance in a wider range of dimensions, requiring measures that more effectively capture the impacts of the system and services delivered by DOTs/IOOs. While charting the needed changes over the next ten years there are many gains to be made much sooner through this research:
• Evaluating the public value of transportation initiatives, e.g., equitable access to education, Utah’s work on measuring quality of life.
• Identifying high quality measures to address arising areas of importance such as accessibility, resilience, and equity.
• Developing new measures and using measures that exist but are less familiar in the transportation domain.
• Representing non-traditional strategic goals and policies in the decision-making process.
• Connecting with the broader societal goals that the public really wants to achieve.
• Measurement areas may include resiliency, equity, maintenance, usage, supply chain, and climate change, security, privacy, safety, public health, affordability, sustainability, or others.
Just as some DOTs are reconsidering legacy measures such as level of service from investment decisions, our transportation agencies nationwide must be on guard against unintended consequences of measures that may be relatively easy (or even mandated) but which risk obscuring negative impacts on communities and the environment. The Federal measures arising from the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century/Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (MAP-21/FAST) Acts have been a welcome infusion of energy into the practice of transportation performance management, but they are just one small part of an agency’s responsibilities to its constituents.
The so-called leveling of the playing field amongst competing interests is gaining some momentum, and this research will serve to accelerate adoption of best practices to reach public benefits faster.
Ongoing coordination between AASHTO, NCHRP, USDOT, and Transportation Research Board (TRB) (e.g., Performance Management Committee)
Performance measurement and performance-based management have a long history in state DOTs as a discipline to track progress toward goals and optimize resource decisions. However, transportation agency goals are evolving from a pure operational focus to a focus on broad societal goals and creating value for the public. The value created by transportation investments spans not only transportation but also education, human services, land use, environment, and economy. A broader view of value and methods are needed to account for not only quantifiable value but also qualitative value. Another challenge is time horizons - how to value and manage investments today to deliver benefits in the much longer term. This research would develop and test measures of wider societal benefits deriving from the delivery of transportation investments.
Transportation agencies are required to use asset management systems, including pavement and bridge asset management systems, to comply with Federal requirements for developing asset management plans. These systems are valuable for supporting a number of business functions, including: analyzing the existing asset inventory and its condition; developing effective asset lifecycle strategies; determining resources required to maintain assets in good repair; and recommending priorities for asset treatments. However, a major challenge transportation agencies face is in using their asset management systems is in trying to develop realistic projects that utilize management system recommendations. The systems generally recommend specific treatments, but do not scope realistic projects. Thus, significant manual effort is required to review management system treatment recommendations, often from multiple systems, and combine these into candidate projects. Research is needed to determine how to extent existing asset management systems to better develop projects from the treatment recommendations these systems generate. Such research will help agencies better comply with Federal requirements, save staff time, and result in development of projects that best support agency asset lifecycle strategies and best practices.
Research is needed to determine how to extent existing asset management systems to better develop projects from the treatment recommendations these systems generate.
The proposed research would include the following tasks, at a minimum:
• Review of existing transportation asset management systems and the approaches agencies use for developing projects from management system treatment recommendations.
• Development of a framework for transportation asset project development. The framework should incorporate: asset lifecycle strategies, other investment objectives that may lie outside of existing asset management systems, such as improve equity, accessibility and mobility; major constraints and parameters related to development of projects; and other factors.
• Gap assessment to identify issues in current practice and opportunities for improvement.
• Development of prototype tools that supplement existing management system treatment recommendation to better support project development.
• Piloting the framework and tools with one or more transportation agencies.
• Development of a research report documenting the results of the research effort.
This research will help agencies better comply with Federal requirements, save staff time, and result in development of projects that best support agency asset lifecycle strategies and best practices.
All states are taking on resiliency in their asset management plans this year, and there are additional resilience-focused programs available from FHWA.
Information To Be Gathered: To further the implementation of asset management beyond pavements and bridges, there is a desire to understand how different agencies are approaching the management of these assets.
• What data is being collected?
• What techniques are being used to collect the data?
• How is the data stored and managed?
• What programming decisions are being made with the data and who in the agency is making those decisions.
• How are these efforts tied to broader asset management, maintenance management, and capital programming within the agency?
How the Information Will Be Gathered: Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected DOTs for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.
• FHWA’s Handbook for Including Ancillary Assets in Transportation Asset Management Programs (2019)
• FHWA’s Case Study 7 – Managing Assets Beyond Pavements and Bridges (2020)
• HIF-20-067 Case Study 7-Managing Assets Beyond Pavements and Bridges (TAMP Practices on Other Assets) (dot.gov)
Recent research has documented approaches to performing this work and several states have developed programs of differing levels of maturity. A Synthesis project at this time will enable agencies to understand the current state of the practice and identify leading practices that can be adopted to advance their own programs.
Applied Pavement Technology
Agencies are becoming more reliant on asset inventory and condition data to create a virtual digi-tal twin to the real world assets that exist and change over time. These changes can result from accidents, natural events, maintenance or construction activities. These changes need to be reflected in the digital twin as close to real time as possible to maintain the usefulness and validity of the virtual twin.
The purpose of this proposed research is examine emerging and established technologies used to capture and update changes to these assets in the field and the necessary steps to ensure that these changes are processed and integrated into the authoritative systems in as close to real time as possible to determine the utility of the data, and how to collect, manage, and apply it more effectively.
• NCHRP 23-16: Implementing and Leveraging Machine Learning at State Departments of Transportation: Available here.
• NCHRP 956 “Guidebook for Data and Information Systems for Asset Management” Available here.
• NCHRP 800 “Successful Practices in GIS-based Asset Management” Available here.
• NCHRP 508 “Data Management and Governance Practices” Available here
• NCHRP 491 “Use of Mobile IT Devices in the Field for Design, Construction and Asset Management” Available here
Emerging and current technologies hold the promise of transforming asset data col-lection for transportation asset management such as the use of drones for inspec-tions, LiDAR field data collection, continuous monitoring of real-time sensor data, and more. While the technology has been transforming, MAP-21 and the Fast Act jump started at many agencies in attaining an inventory of infrastructure assets and trans-portation data. At the same time, accessibility and affordability to collect high volumes of asset inventory data, such as LiDAR point cloud data, present the problem of how agencies can visualize and manage such large amounts of data and integrate the many layers for each transportation asset management plan. Now that the need for such data is federally recognized, further research is needed to understand what the latest technologies for asset management can offer an agency as well as how fre-quently that information needs to be captured and optimized.
Research is needed in the following areas:
· Identification of key current and emerging technologies for the capture, extrac-tion, processing and updating of asset inventory and condition data in authori-tative asset management systems
· Examples of current and emerging technologies include: mobile data collection, (iPhone, tablet, laptop), high resolution imagery, mobile LiDAR, machine learn-ing, artificial intelligence, neural networks, internet of things (IoT), nanotechnol-ogy and microelectronics, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and other data col-lection and processing and integrating technologies.
· Address the challenges of the rapid pace of technological advancement and the application of these technologies in a cost effective and practical manner, con-sidering obsolescence, staff expertise, and willingness to adopt new technolo-gies.
· Evaluate the level of extraction detail and frequency interval needed to support TAM at both the state and local levels and how can the condition assessment can be applied to the performance measures of both pavement and non-pavement assets.
· Further investigate what tools are capable of visualizing and presenting data to all stakeholders in various formats (i.e GIS, systems of engagement) with standardized and consistent formats of presentation and interaction.
· Identify best practices for managing these technologies and systems as they work holistically across the agency as cost effective enterprise solutions, includ-ing but not limited to types of expertise and staff resources.
· The research should include use cases of efficient and effective applications of these technologies, processes and systems.
· The research should consider any refinements that would need to occur in net-work level and project level asset management data collection to make the data useful for compliance (i.e. ADA), safety (i.e. bridge clearances) or engineering purposes (i.e. BIM/CIM).
State and local transportation agencies are rapidly adopting Asset Management prac-tices to optimize infrastructure conditions for the resources available and to meet Fed-eral Transportation Asset Management Planning reporting requirements. To meet these demands there is a profound need to invest in technology and systems to under-stand the fully inventoried condition of various transportation assets and to model the outcomes of various investment strategies.
The potential benefits of this research is to provide insights to decision makers at transportation agencies on how to navigate a world of constantly changing and evolving technology. It will help agencies work better with technology firms. It will provide guidance on how to minimize the impact of technology on staff and make more effec-tive use of taxpayer dollars. It will provide guidance on how to make data in these au-thoritative systems more useful and through visualization make that data more un-derstandable. By making these systems and data collection practices more efficient and effective it will enable transportation officials to make better informed investments in the transportation leading to a more equitable, sustainable and resilient system.
Digital twins of physical roadway assets can model deterioration, forecast needed treatments, archive inspections, and be updated through subsequent field collection. It is like an API that allows multiple applications to interact with the managed data. Implementation of research may still require a need to manipulate with API, understand data interoperability, and account for differentiation between vendors data collection standards. Although vendors have a lot of solutions developed, the research will determine the best approach given the asset type, acceptable LOS, change detection, and general data management regardless of vendor.
New Mexico DOT
The purpose of this study is to research best practices and case studies of Transporta-tion Agency Organizational and Decision-Making Structure to shift from processes driven by planning, design, and construction to organizational structures driven by the need to maintain and operate an established, integrated system based on principles of asset management and transportation system operations.
· SHRP 2 Report S2-L06-RR1 “Institutional Architectures to Improve Systems Opera-tions and Management”
· FHWA-HOP-17-017 “Developing and Sustaining a Transportation Systems Man-agement and Operation Mission for Your Organization: A Primer for Program Plan-ning”
· NCHRP 08-138 (Pending) Guide to the Integration of Transportation Systems Management and Operations into Transportation Asset Management
To rethink how a transportation agency should be organized to maintain and operate an existing system in real time. That includes a focus on preservation and maintenance of existing assets, responding quickly and effectively to incidents and emergencies, and operating the system at an optimized level of service given funding constraints. The research will consider what systems and processes need to be in place to monitor conditions and operations, the role of maintenance and asset management in programming and project development, effective use of agency forces, budgeting for maintenance and replacement over the lifecycle, and how to manage risk as a compliment to resource constrained asset management strategies. The research will look at various public and private sector models that look at organizational structure, element driven contracting, funding allocation models, and the role of in house vs contract resources to maximize the cost effectiveness of resource investments.
Project objectives envision developing a synthesis using the following guidance:
1. Identify organizational practices that integrate maintenance and operational needs into capital planning processes.
2. Perform a domestic and international scan of how and what transportation agencies do organizationally to implement effective Asset Management and TSMO practices for holistic decision-making throughout the asset lifecycle.
3. Identify decision-making, communication, and organizational practices to in-clude all stakeholders in the lifecycle of the assets.
4. Identify project criteria and business practices that can be used for realizing improved transportation system performance over time. This includes how or-ganizations take into account maintainability, sustainability, resiliency and functional performance in the development, design and construction of pro-jects.
5. Develop case studies on how capital transportation projects are delivered and the problems that occur across functional areas. Agencies will be interviewed to determine root cause analysis of projects to evaluate both successes and problems with the long term lifecycle management of assets arising from poli-cies, organizational practices, and knowledge transfer and how that impacts an agency’s ability to maintain a state of good repair for new and existing assets.
6. Evaluate how federal funding mechanisms could be employed to fund mainte-nance needs of new and existing asset types arising out of capital project prior-itization.
7. Evaluate how agencies integrate performance targets and measures into their maintenance, operations, program management and asset management pro-cesses to drive decision making.
Asset management and transportation systems management and operations have become cornerstones of how transportation agencies prioritize how they maintain, op-erate and make capital improvements to their transportation systems. These have driven agencies to rethink how to develop their capital programs, how decisions are made and who is involved at various levels of decision making. The goal of this re-search is to share effective practices within agencies for the benefit of the overall in-dustry.
The purpose of this is to research case studies to help agencies improve their own de-cision-making processes with regards to asset management and TSMO.
New Mexico DOT
Financial risks can threaten the strategic objectives of transportation agencies - e.g., the safe and reliable and efficient movement of people and goods. For example, the Highway Trust Fund is tied to taxes on gas and diesel. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic greatly reduced American consumption, thus dramatically reducing revenues. State DOTs have seen their budgets slashed by 30% or more, forcing delays in some projects. Furthermore, external mandates can impose both risks and opportunites. A well-funded mandate could mean state DOTs have additional funding for enhancing resilience, while an unfunded mandate could force a DOT to choose between maintenance and projects. The objective of this project is to help transportation leaders with decision-making tools for allocating limited resources when subjected to unpredicatable financial conditions.
This research need was recommended and prioritized through multiple stakeholder engagements during the 20-123 project. No related literature was found that incorporated financial risk at the enterprise and program levels. In addition, the recent COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the consequences of income and financial instability in transportation agencies.
The importance of incorporating risk at the enterprise and program levels has been recognized, and AASHTO published a guide summarizing how DOTs can establish and benefit from an enterprise risk management (ERM) program (AASHTO Guide for Enterprise Risk Management, 2016). This guide divides risk into four levels: enterprise, program, project, and activity. Risks to the enterprise are identified as the risks that affect the organization and its strategic objectives; while risk to the program includes risks that are “common to group of projects that achieve strategic goals” or those that “could affect the performance of major programs such as safety, pavements, bridges, maintenance, information technology, local programs, project delivery, finance, and human resources”. The guide provides an overview on what enterprise risk management is, highlights the benefits, and also includes information of how to identify, assess and manage those risks. However, further guidance and methodologies on how to assess and manage financial risks at the enterprise and program levels are still needed.
The purpose of the proposed research project is to provide state DOTs with the necessary tools to assess and manage financial risk at the enterprise and program levels.
The specific research tasks to accomplish the main objective include:
• Task 1 – Conduct an in-depth literature review of all studies related to assessment and management of financial risks in transportation agencies, especially at the enterprise and program levels, including national and international examples as available.
• Task 2 – Conduct a gap assessment of the state of practice to determine what is still needed to incorporate financial risk at the enterprise and program levels.
• Task 3 – Develop a methodology for identifying and quantifying financial risks at the enterprise and program levels.
• Task 4 – Develop metrics and performance indicators for evaluating effectiveness of financial risk countermeasures.
• Task 5 – Develop decision-making tools for resource allocation under conditions of financial uncertainty.
• Task 6 – Develop methodology and guidance on consideration of program and potentially project-level financial risk within the enterprise.
• Task 7 – Pilot test the developed processes with multiple state DOTs and revised methodology as needed.
• Task 8 – Develop an implementation guide to help state DOTs to incorporate these processes into existing agency programs and projects.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic greatly reduced American consumption, thus dramatically reducing revenues. State DOTs have seen their budgets slashed by 30% or more, forcing delays in some projects and reductions in workforce. A well-funded mandate could mean state DOTs have additional funding for enhancing resilience, while an unfunded mandate could force a DOT to choose between maintenance and projects. Not having the necessary funding for certain programs or projects may have a short or long term negative impacts on agency mission (e.g., lack of funding to continue or improve safety programs).
This project aims to provide transportation leaders with the necessary decision-making tools for allocating resources when subjected to unpredicatable financial conditions in order to reduce risks and increase the return on investment (ROI).
In order to implement financial risk assessments at the enterprise level, senior executives and policy makers need to take the lead and champion these initiatives.
Similarly, program managers need to take the major role on encouraging the implementation of financial risk assessments into program level.
It is key that senior executives, policy makers and program managers need to have a communication plan to communicate with peers on their areas in order to assess the financial risks to multiple programs and/or projects that may affect each other. In addition, providing staff training on the subject of financial risk, especially at the enterprise and program levels, is a key factor on successful implementation. Training material (including guidance, workshops, peer exchanges, etc.) to help implementation champions should be developed and used to create awareness and facilitate assessments.
Rank 5 in 2021
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.
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 fulfill 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.
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.
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.
Ranked 3 in 2021
Started from War Games topics, planning to submit to the Domestic Scan Program
• Focused on how do we integrate accepted best practice learnings and revisit our organizational mission across sectors to create a more safe, equitable society?
• Currently researching organizational missions, emerging performance areas, and equity plans within organizations before next meeting
Areas we may want to include:
- Organizational components that have been successful (for example)
- Organizational factors
- Risk management approaches
- Innovative strategies
- Stakeholder partnership (more than engagement)
- Successful support systems
- Strategic frameworks - organizational missions
- Performance management systems
- Equity plans, etc.
- Types of leadership exhibited in high-performing agencies
Also consider barriers to addressing societal needs, how leading agencies have overcome these challenges (for example):
- Rapid pace of change
- Complex, sometimes conflicting social pressures
- I.D. promising practices
- Assess likelihood of reproducing these results
- Investigate issues, assess tech transfer opportunities and methods
- Document results
Emerging technologies, such as the use of drones for inspections, LiDAR field data collection, and continuous monitoring of real-time sensor data (among others), hold the promise of transforming asset data collection for transportation asset management. As this technology has been evolving and improving, federal regulation, specifically, MAP-21 and the FAST Act, has pushed many agencies to collect and utilize a detailed inventory of infrastructure assets and transportation data. With the collection of high-volume asset inventory and condition data, such as LiDAR point cloud data, the accessibility and affordability of data collection has become a clear issue for agencies, particularly as they aim to manage and visualize collected data for both strategic and operational transportation asset management planning purposes. Therefore, research and guidance on the benefits and applications of these emerging technologies as well as how frequently that inventory and condition data need to be collected or assessed is necessary.
The focus of this research would be on the following:
• Address the adoption and practical application of these emerging collection technologies and the rapid pace of technological advancement.
• Provide guidance on the level of detail and frequency interval necessary for data collection to support TAM at both the state and local levels.
• Determine how condition assessment can be applied to the performance measures of both pavement and non-pavement assets.
• Further investigate and recommend tools capable of visualizing asset extraction layers, as well as presenting data to stakeholders in powerful GIS formats with standardized TAM graphics for universal interpretation.
• The research should consider any refinements that would need to occur in network level asset management data collection to make the data useful for compliance (i.e. ADA), safety (i.e. bridge clearances) or engineering (design or construction) purposes.
• PROJECT: Best Practices on Collecting Asset Information from the Construction Stage, South Carolina Department of Transportation, 2021, Proposed 2021-10-01
• PROJECT: Automated Guardrail Inventory and Condition Evaluation, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 2021, Active 2021-01-18
• Highway Asset and Pavement Condition Management using Mobile Photogrammetry, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2021
• Automated Real-Time Roadway Asset Inventory using Artificial Intelligence, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2674, Issue 11, 2020, pp 220-234, 2020-11
• Computer Vision for Rapid Updating of the Highway Asset Inventory, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2674, Issue 9, 2020, pp 245-255, 2020-09
• GIS Tools and Apps—Integration with Asset Management, 2020, 155p, 2020-02
• PROJECT: A Method for Pavement Marking Inventory and Retroreflectivity Condition Assessment Using Mobile LiDAR, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, $200,000, 2019, Active, 2019-10-21
• SCDOT Asset Data Collection Assessment, 2019, 99, 2019-08
• PROJECT: GIS Tools and Applications: Integration with Asset Management, Minnesota Department of Transportation, $59,021.12, 2019, Completed, 2019-04-19
• Novel Cloud and Mobile Technology for Road Asset Management in Saint Lucia, 26th World Road Congress, 2019, 9, 2019
• Implementation of Road Asset Management System in Saint Lucia, 26th World Road Congress, 2019, 16, 2019
• Innovative Approaches to Asset Management, 2019, 110, 2019
• Machine Learning Powered Roadside Asset Extraction using LiDAR, TAC 2018: Innovation and Technology: Evolving Transportation - 2018 Conference and Exhibition of the Transportation Association of Canada, 2018
• Life-Cycle Approach to Collecting, Managing, and Sharing Transportation Infrastructure Asset Data, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Volume 143, Issue 6, 2017-06
• Highway Asset Inventory Data Collection Using Airborne LiDAR, Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, 2017, 15
• Evaluation of High-Speed Mobile Technologies for Sign Inventory and Maintenance, Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, 2017, 13, 2017
• Implementation of Aerial LiDAR Technology to Update Highway Feature Inventory, 2016, 133, 2016-12
• Guide for Efficient Geospatial Data Acquisition using LiDAR Surveying Technology, 2016, 12, 2016
• LEVERAGING CONSTRUCTION INSPECTION AND DOCUMENTATION FOR ASSET INVENTORY AND LIFE CYCLE ASSET MANAGEMENT Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting, 2016, 20, 2016
• Handbook For Including Ancillary Assets in Transportation Asset Management Programs, Federal Highway Administration, 2018
Working backward from the key decisions that need to be made across stakeholder groups over an asset’s lifecycle, this project seeks to identify current practices and recommend ongoing improvements in relation to collecting, storing, sharing, and maintaining asset inventory and condition data (“data management”). With a focus on implementation, the project will build on existing research by identifying the pros and cons of different data management methods and technologies, so that decision makers across departments can collaborate more effectively when planning and investing in data management approaches. The practice of data management is evolving at a rapid pace, given the proliferation of new technologies that are being used increasingly alongside traditional approaches. In parallel, agencies are recognizing the multi-stakeholder nature of asset management, as departments such as compliance, safety, engineering, operations and environmental begin to see the benefits of access to reliable, accurate asset information. This project will answer key data management questions such as: What data should be collected to address all stakeholder needs? How, when, and how often? Using which technologies and platforms? At what cost? And why?
It will also provide guidance to agencies on the most appropriate approaches to collecting, storing, sharing and maintaining asset data, based on the needs of the various stakeholders involved in data-based decision-making.
Inventory and condition data collection and data management are continuously changing in response to changing demands of state and local agencies. However, despite these changing demands, inventory data is constantly being used by multiple stakeholders to make decisions (planning, operations, safety, contractors). While the inventory data may not necessarily be accurate or timely due to these agency constraints or because the agency’s collection processes lack maturity (i.e. ancillary assets), this data is still being used to make decisions at all levels within an agency, yet there is little consensus on how to manage data related to those assets.
The benefits of this research are that it will provide a complete view of inventory and condition issues across asset classes; support agencies with lessons learned from others (from data collection to post-processing/extraction and related decision making) and enable collaboration on new approaches, particularly for secondary asset data management; support implementation of TAMPs by helping to ensure data is reliable and accurate; support preparation for emerging technologies such as CAVES, which will be dependent on secondary assets, such as striping, roadside units (RSUs) and signals.
Methods to incorporate products into practice:
- Web-based training for agency staff
- Case studies from peer agencies
- Assessment of existing technologies including functionalities, pros/cons, and costs
- Decision makers at all organizational levels and across departments/disciplines
- Contractor and consultant community
Steve Wilcox, P.E.
Emerging technologies hold the promise of transforming asset data collection for transportation asset management such as the use of drones for inspections, LiDAR field data collection, continuous monitoring of real-time sensor data, and more. While the technology has been transforming, MAP-21 and the Fast Act jump started at many agencies in attaining an inventory of infrastructure assets and transportation data. At the same time, accessibility and affordability to collect high volumes of asset inventory data, such as LiDAR point cloud data, present the problem of how agencies can visualize and manage such large amounts of data and integrate the many layers for each transportation asset management plan. Now that the need for such data is federally recognized, further research is needed to understand what the latest technologies for asset analysis can offer an agency as well as how frequently that information needs generated.
Research is needed in the following areas:
• Address the adoption and practical application of these technologies and the rapid pace of technological advancement.
• What level of extraction detail and frequency interval is needed to support TAM at both the state and local levels and how can the condition assessment be applied to the performance measures of both pavement and non-pavement assets?
• Further investigate what tools are capable of visualizing asset extraction layers, as well as presenting such data to all stakeholders in powerful GIS formats with standardized TAM graphics for universal interpretation.
Infromation Technologies Curves, Incorporated
Information Technologies Curves
This is a typical function of an AMS, in which different asset classes, such as different types of roads (interstate, state, local, or possibly differentiated by traffic volumes), bridges, etc are allocated different treatments and possibly different budgets per asset class. This synthesis could be both a panel study (cross-section of states) and a time series study (how the policies developed over time), and could also involve systems which use life cycle costing and those which do not.
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.
● 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 https://www.tam-portal.com/document/dot-covid19-data-survey/
● 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).
Question of understanding impacts vs. position for post-pandemic
Several economic optimization methods are linked with TAM project selections. One of the economic indicators in measuring them is the ROI (which can be defined in various ways), but there are others such as NPV, IBC, FYRR and more. This research needs statement refers to the need of connecting prioritization / different approaches to asset management (such as optimization) and TAM project selections and economic indicators.
There are several known methods of estimating the maintenance backlog – via budget (raising the network to a given level within a given number of years), length or percentage of the network under a given maintenance standard (such as PCI, PSI, IRI or other indicator),
This question is usually dealt with in road assets but can be expanded to bridges and other assets as well. It is part of a life cycle cost analysis when the evaluation is performed on different treatments which are differentiated by their frequency (usually every X years) and thus influencing their cost. Many Asset Management Systems incorporate this kind of analysis.
A State DOT Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) documents the investment strategies and expected outcomes from various asset classes, starting with the bridges and pavement of the National Highway System. The State DOT TAMP does not replace any existing state transportation plan (e.g., LRTP, freight plan, operations plan, etc.) but does provide critical inputs to existing plans, linking capital and maintenance expenditures related to asset preservation.
At the same time that state DOTs were developing their TAMPs, states also implemented a performance-based planning and programming approach, which applies performance management principles to transportation system policy and investment decisions. Performance-based long range transportation plans, statewide transportation improvement programs (STIPs), metropolitan planning organization (MPO) TIPs, and other performance-based plans like state freight plans must define key goals and objectives and establish measures to analyze short-, medium, and long-term implementation progress.
This Synthesis should review the advancement of State DOTs and MPOs to implement performance-based planning and programming with the help of implementation plans like the TAMP and documented processes for planning, investing, and evaluating performance outcomes.
• NCHRP 08-113 Integrating Effective Transportation Performance, Risk, and Asset Management Practices
• NCHRP 02-27: Making Targets Matter….engagement for meaningful performance management
• A Guide for Incorporating Maintenance Costs into a Transportation Asset Management Plan
• Incorporating Resilience Considerations in Transportation Planning, TSMO and Asset Management
• Effective Methods for Setting Transportation Performance Targets
• Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 51-05. Collaborative Practices for Performance-Based Asset Management Between State DOTs and MPOs
• FHWA review of 2019 State DOT Transportation Asset Management Plans (internal)
The objective of this synthesis is to identify best practices from State DOTs of how to improve processes through required performance-based planning and programming document development and implementation through exploring:
• How State DOTs and MPOs are linking and including asset management decisions in their traditional planning processes;
• How agency’s integrate asset management project identification and prioritization into required planning processes;
• Gap analyses of where State DOTs and MPOs identify a need for more guidance on how to connect required performance-based documents to programming decisions;
• What management systems are in use to help agencies implement risk-based asset management with performance objectives and targets.
• Examples of where MPOs work in partnership with State DOTs to mobilize National Highway System partner owners (local agencies) to plan/program to performance targets.
Benefits of this research include improved coordination between state DOTs, MPOs, and local transportation agencies through the development of performance-based planning and programming documents and implementation of PBPP project prioritization. Benefits may include improved sharing of data, efficient use of existing systems and identification of needed systems, and risk-based asset management of the system.
High Street Consulting Group
Question whether this topic should wait until the results of NCHRP Project 08-113 Integrating Effective Transportation Performance, Risk, and Asset Management Practices are released. They are covering similar topics, though the current research statement seems to be more focused on the federal TAMP/ TPM while 08-113 is about AM/ Perf Mgmt more generally
Research is needed on the importance of data governance from the conception of a project’s data dictionary, through the inventory and condition assessment and continuing with the data management and integration into transportation asset management systems. A question worth pursuing is whether all aspects of language, wording, numbering, and measurement units should be standardized or if template guides could be developed for each agency to standardize their unique asset type requirements, but in a nationally recognized format for easy translation.
After establishing governance routines for asset data collection and management, the next phase of research would involve the security aspects of an agency’s data as well as the quality assurance measures applicable to grow confidence in the data’s quality. A full review of best practices for data security procedures could break the barrier of IT to asset manager. Additionally, once definitions and governance procedures are established, the quality assurance process becomes more stream-lined and gives better confidence to the decision makers.
● FHWA - Identifying Data Frameworks & Governance for Establishing Future BIM Standards
● AED80 has a subcommittee on BIM, who has a sub-sub committee on BIM & AM
● PIARC TC 3.3 has a group working on TAM/BIM integration.
● NCHRP Report 831: Civil Integrated Management (CIM) for DOTs.
● Guidance on establishing BIM data governance and quality standards to support asset management.
● Recommend standards for data transfer between data collection and asset management systems.
● Develop maturity scales for BIM implementation and establish appropriate maturity level for integration of TAM
● Research on BIM applications to support DOTs' data governance specific to the collection of data by one part of the agency can be used directly by other parts of the agency
● Evaluate cost effectiveness of collecting and managing data through BIM at a sufficient level of quality.
● Aligning the focused but detailed project-level data with network-wide but less detailed TAM data.
Spy Pond Partners
TRB Research Ideas – Data Quality/Standardization
• Data quality and confidence
• standardize terminology between different systems so singles source can inform GIS/500 reports/DELPHI/FMIS etc. so reports all use the same words or numbers the same way
• Updated asset type definitions and extraction methodologies.
• Performance Metrics for Assets other than pavement and bridge, i.e.. signals, signs, barriers, culverts
• Asset ratings biases, potential to rate lower to obtain funding
TRB Research Ideas – Data Governance
• Our largest challenge is data governance, feature collection and maintaining asset/inventory data
• Data governance is still looming large from an implementation perspective
• Data history, implementation and its security (both cyber and other forms of security)
Due to external stakeholder requirements and expectations (e.g., MAP 21 and FAST Acts) as well as internal DOT uses, DOTs typically collect pavement condition data (i.e., roughness, cracking and rutting or faulting depending on the pavement surfaces) on an annual cycle. However, disruptions of typical agency activities related to COVID-19 have resulted in data collection challenges, focusing attention on potential impacts of missing a data collection cycle. DOT may also face unforeseen workforce, contracting, data collection or processing challenges or other issues which could result in missed pavement data collection. In these cases, DOTs would benefit from understanding the range of potential impacts as well as potential mitigation strategies available to address these issues. Furthermore, in times of reduced budget, DOTs may desire to reduce the frequency of data collection, however they should be informed of the potential impacts of that decision.
In the recent past, the FHWA sponsored a project which resulted in publications analyzing the impact of pavement monitoring frequency on pavement performance prediction and management system decisions (Haider et al. 2010, 2011). This study analyzed pavement sections from the Long Term Pavement Performance database and recommended monitoring cracking at a 1-year interval and roughness every 1 to 2 years. The proposed study will further investigate this issue and expand the analysis on the implications of missing a data collection cycle in their transportation management plans. Given that the FHWA reporting requirements are fairly recent, there is not much in the transportation literature about the impact of missing a data collection cycle. Furthermore, little information is available on potential strategies available to mitigate the impact of incomplete condition data.
1. Evaluate the impacts of incomplete/missing annual pavement data collection to various aspects of agency asset and performance management, including technical considerations, such as network-level condition summary and performance forecast, maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction decision-making, and condition deterioration and treatment improvement modeling.
2. Consider the effect of incomplete/missing data on the organization and processes, such as federal performance reporting and transportation asset management planning requirements, as well as impacts to other internal and external stakeholders and decision-making processes.
3. Analyze and derive recommendations on mitigation strategies that DOT could implement to minimize the impact of incomplete condition data.
Proposed research activities include:
1. Conduct a literature review to document:
○ DOT motivations and/or requirements for annual data collection.
○ Potential technical and organizational impacts or issues associated with missing an annual data collection.
○ Techniques available to mitigate the impacts of missing the collection.
○ DOTs known to currently (or in the recent past) complete pavement data collection on a 2 or more year data collection cycle.
2. Building from the literature review, survey State DOTs to capture:
○ DOT motivations and/or requirements for annual data collection
○ Potential technical and organizational impacts or issues associated with missing an annual data collection
○ Techniques available to mitigate the impacts of missing the collection.
○ DOTs that currently (or recently) collected pavement data on a 2 or more year data collection cycle
○ DOTs which have previously missed their established collection cycle
3. Conduct follow up interviews/surveys with DOTs that have longer collection cycles or which had previously missed an annual pavement data collection to understand perceived vs. actual impacts (both technical and organizational) and any mitigation strategies they employ.
4. Summarize literature review, survey results and follow up interviews to guide ongoing research activities
5. From a representative set of DOTs, collect available pavement condition and work history data, pavement deterioration and improvement benefit models
6. Utilize collected data to complete a statistical evaluation of the impact missing a year of data collection with respect to forecasted vs. actual performance results, and ability to identify priority investment areas based on previous year’s data collection, as well as other issues identified through the survey
7. Identify potential strategies to mitigate the impacts of incomplete condition data
8. Document survey results and evaluation outcomes
9. Produce a technical report summarizing impacts of, and potential mitigations for, missing an annual pavement collection cycle
Desired products include:
● Detailed listing of current requirements and/or motivations for annual pavement data collection
● Summary of perceived and actual impacts of missing an annual data collection against the listed motivations, supported with a statistical evaluation of actual DOT datasets where applicable
● A summary of potential mitigation strategies that can be employed to reduce the identified impacts
State DOTs perform data collection with a certain frequency based on the data condition type. Due to the unpredicted situation we are facing in 2020 many DOTs have missed their data collection schedule and this would directly affect the uncertainties and potential emerging risks in asset management. State DOTs need effective ways to address this incompletion in data to improve their ability in decision-making and ultimately continue their asset management plans. Studies have shown that monitoring intervals and data collection frequency have an effect on performance predictions. A part of the uncertainty in performance prediction is due to the frequency of distress data collection.
Data curing methods could significantly help state DOTs use their previous data to forecast the missing ones. Private industries can help state DOTs perform data curing and data mining strategies. COVID-19 has caused a pause in asset management procedures, however the gap in data collection can be filled with the improvement in machine-learning products. It is therefore increasingly important for state DOTs to benefit from the technology-based services private industries offer and decrease the risk of incomplete data.
The target audience for the research results is state DOT asset management and data quality management champions, whether self-designated or officially appointed. These individuals are likely already on board with the need for data curing and are aware of its benefits, but have been unable to convince executives or other senior decision-makers to sustainably implement data curing. There is a need for AASHTO and TRB committees to embrace the need for data curing. There is a possibility that TRB’s Pavement Management System committee will be interested in this subject, it is worth contacting them and explaining the objectives.
SRF Consulting Group
(515) 735 8965
University of Colorado Boulder
(303) 735 4609
Recommended funding of $250,000 includes $225,000 for a half-time investigator for 18 months.
TAM and TPM provide the foundation for performance-based investment decisions in transportation agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Despite the fact that many transportation agencies have embraced the implementation of robust TAM and TPM programs to support their stewardship responsibilities, these topics are not typically incorporated into traditional education programs. In many cases, practitioners working in these areas acquire the skills needed while working on the job or take advantage of training materials available through various sources with limited support. Challenges with attaining skills, building competencies in an organization are compounded by knowledge succession needs with an aging workforce, tighter budgets, and uncertain in-person opportunities during an on-going pandemic, as well as evolving career expectations from skilled candidates in a globally competitive digital economy. A more accessible, efficient and attractive landscape of offerings, programs and career paths are needed to tackle the spectrum of training needs and challenges for effective TAM and TPM.
This study will explore cross-functional, multidisciplinary competencies, training needs in the TAM and TPM areas so that funding can be sought to streamline usage of existing opportunities, better integrate TAM and TPM principles within available programs, identify new skills needs driven by emerging risks or advancing technology, develop new training programs and partnerships needed. This also includes gaining an understanding of flexible, inclusive career paths to support innovation and productivity while improving return on training investment in a time of economic recovery. The study will inform AASHTO and TRB committees of existing gaps in training and recommend a strategy for addressing the gaps through a separate research study.
It is anticipated that this scoping study would be part of a three-phase research project:
• Phase I: Scoping Study for Developing an Education, Training and Workforce Development Program for TPM and TAM (this project)
• Phase II: Prototype and Testing of TPM/TAM Education, Training and Workforce Tools and Resources
• Phase III: Formal Development and Ongoing Support of TPM/TAM Education, Training and Workforce Tools and Resources
Task 1: Define TPM and TAM Training and Education Needs
• Conduct a contextual and comprehensive analysis of the training needs for practitioners in TPM and TAM.
• Assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by practitioners to perform their jobs well.
• Consider delivery methods in addressing needs.
Task 2: Conduct a Gap Analysis
• Summarize available training programs/materials in the US and abroad (notably Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand) and through other resources.
• Identify gaps between desired outcomes and current outcomes from available training and education.
Task 3: Develop Recommendations
• Summarize the findings from task 1 and 2.
• Recommend strategies for addressing the gaps.
• Present findings and recommendation in a final report.
• Prepare a Research Problem Statement(s) to develop the recommendations.
• Meet with the project panel to discuss recommendations.
• Incorporate changes into a final version of the report.
AASHTO TC3 Program
Better define the needs for education, training and workforce development related to transportation asset management and transportation performance management. Develop resources as needed for the following sub-areas:
Education—Writing curriculum for undergraduate and graduate courses
Training—For DOT and MPO staff in-depth career training, NHI, etc.
Workforce Development—e.g., TC3
Dr. Basak Bektas
Minnesota State University
No more than 15 months to complete the scoping study.
Additional time needed to establish the project with NCHRP.
Implementation of NCHRP 08-118: Risk Assessment Techniques for Transportation Asset Management
Implementation of NCHRP 08-129: Incorporating Resilience Concepts and Strategies in Transportation Planning
Determining the value of a transportation organization’s physical assets is important for both financial reporting and transportation asset management (TAM). In financial reporting, determining asset value is a fundamental step in preparing a balance sheet for financial statements to inform regulators and investors. For TAM, presenting data on the value of physical assets, such as pavement, bridges, and facilities, communicates what an organization owns and what it must maintain. Furthermore, information about asset value and how it is changing can help establish how the organization is maintaining its asset inventory and helps support investment decisions.
Calculating asset value for TAM is not simply good practice; it is also required of state Departments of Transportation (DOT) by Federal regulations. Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 515 details requirements for State DOTs to develop a risk-based Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP). The TAMP must include a calculation of the value of National Highway System (NHS) pavement and bridges, as well as the cost to maintain asset value.
Recently NCHRP Project 23-06 was performed to develop guidance for calculating asset value to support TAM applications. This research resulted in the development of the Asset Valuation Guide. This document is intended as a companion publication to the Transportation Asset Management Guide published by AASHTO. The Guide is accompanied by a web tool with an online version of the guidance. The guidance was developed to provide immediate support to highway and transit agencies developing their 2022 TAMPs, and to provide continuing support for other TAM-related applications.
The NCHRP 23-06 research project that produced the asset valuation guide included an extensive review of the available literature related to asset valuation. Key references include:
• Accounting guidance and standards, including General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 34, standards of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS) and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) guide Measuring Capital.
• Asset management guidance, including the AASHTO TAM Guide, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) TAM guidance, and Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Infrastructure Management Manual and Australian Infrastructure Financial Management Manual.
• Additional documents describing approaches used or proposed for asset valuation, such as State DOT TAMPs and other references.
Other research projects (recently completed, active, or pending) in this area include:
• NCHRP Project 08-109: Updating the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide—A Focus on Implementation, Phase 1
• NCHRP Project 08-137: Digital Enhancements and Content for the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide
• NCHRP Project 19-12: Guide for Financial Planning and Management in Support of Transportation Asset Management
• NCHRP Project 02-26: Implementation of Life-Cycle Planning Analysis in a Transportation Asset Management Framework.
This proposed study will build on these recent efforts and serve to provide updated asset valuation guidance.
The objective of this implementation project support further testing and use of Asset Valuation Guide developed through NCHRP Project 23-06. This project will aid a set of transportation agencies in implementing the asset valuation guidance. A set of case studies will be developed based on the agency implementation efforts. Details on the case studies will be added to the web-based version of the asset valuation guidance and subsequent versions of the Asset Valuation Guide. Further, the web and printed versions of the Guide will be revised to reflect the additional experience gained from the case studies.
To support accomplishing the research objectives the effort will incorporate the following activities at a minimum:
• Delivery of a set of workshops to review and summarize the Asset Valuation Guide.
• Identification of a set of six transportation agencies to participate in implementation of the asset valuation guidance.
• Application of the asset valuation guidance for the selected set of agencies, resulting in calculation of asset value by asset class, the cost to maintain asset value and related measures such as the Asset Consumption Ratio, Asset Sustainability Ratio and Asset Funding Ratio.
• Illustration of how information on asset value can support improved TAM decisions.
• Refinement of the Asset Valuation Guide (printed and web versions) based on the results of the case studies.
• Development of supplemental tools and worksheets to assist in calculating asset value to support TAM utilize the Asset Valuation Guide.
The proposed research is needed to help transportation agencies meet Federal requirements for developing their TAMPs. It will help build on recently completed NCHRP research and maximize the value of the research to the transportation community. Benefits of the research will include:
• Dissemination of the research completed previously through NCHRP Project 23-06.
• Assistance with a selected set of transportation agencies in valuing their assets to support TAM using the previously developed asset valuation guidance.
• Refinement of the Asset Valuation Guide to reflect experience gained from implementation
• Strengthening transportation agency TAM practice to include improved calculations of asset value and additional measures related to asset value that will help support TAM decisions.
The target audience for this research includes executives, managers, and practitioners at state DOTs and at other agencies working to implement TAM and/or prepare financial plans and reports. It will be of value for asset managers, planners, and financial analysts. The guidance will be useful for helping establish asset value and related measures for asset classes including pavement, bridges, other structures, buildings, vehicles (including service vehicles, transit vehicles and ferries), rail track, traffic and safety assets, and other assets.
The results of this research will be highly applicable to the efforts of DOTs and national organizations such as AASHTO and FHWA in furthering the maturity of TAM and improving their approaches for TAMP development and financial reporting. It will help provide practical advice and overall guidance to agencies on how to value their assets regardless of their individual asset contexts, conditions, or budgetary situation.
This program will establish a series of individual research projects born out of NCHRP 23-09, Scoping Study to Develop the Basis for a Highway Standard to Conduct an All-Hazards Risk and Resilience Analysis. Similar to other NCHRP research programs such as NCHRP 20-102, Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies, this is a long-term research program that will result in an industry standard for all-hazards risk and resilience analysis for use in decision-making. The product of this research program will be a collection of tools and techniques that transportation agencies can for all-hazards risk and resilience analysis similar to what has been produced for the Highway Capacity Manual and the Highway Safety Manual.
Integrating Risk and Resilience into the Performance Management Decision-Making Process
Evaluate and assess the existing national-level performance measure requirements for asset management at the state level to determine applicability and usability of PM measures in asset management decision making. As appropriate, provide recommendations and refinement of the performance measures for better use an application.
1. Evaluate current federal PM2 measures, both pavement condition measures and bridge measures, for performance thresholds, and overall performance measure with respect to: Consistency, Usefulness, and Alignment.
2. Identify and address in detail specific challenges for each condition measure for consistency, including thresholds. For example, determine if wheel path cracking considerations could be revised to provide more consistent results across pavement types (e.g. composite, concrete) and pavement widths (e.g. <12 ft.) 3. Provide recommendations to improve existing measures and/or identify metrics that better reflect conditions enhance decision-making taking into account not only the assessment of current and future condition but also their implications in economic analyses of long-term maintenance and rehabilitation.
NCHRP 20-24(20), 20-24 (97), 20-24 (127)
NCHRP 20-24(37): This project, Measuring Performance among State DOTs: Sharing Good Practices, put in place a foundation on which the first set of national performance measures were created. A similar program needs to established on which to further develop relevant national-level performance measures.
State departments of transportation (DOT) and other transportation agencies face a range of challenges in determining how best to invest in their existing pavements, bridges, and other physical assets, and in projecting what the impact of those investments will be over time. Addressing these challenges requires considering both specific planned or potential investments at a project or asset level, as well as overall expenditures and conditions for systems of assets – that is, at a network level. Evaluating assets at both the project and network levels is consistent with best practice in Transportation Asset Management (TAM), and is required by recent Federal regulations in performance and asset management. For instance, 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 490 requires state DOTs to set network-level performance targets for future pavement and bridge conditions for the National Highway System (NHS) based on expected funding. Also, 23 CFR Part 515 requires state DOTs to develop TAM plans for their NHS pavements and bridges including financial plans and investment strategies, implying further project-level analysis.
As transportation agencies are using their existing pavement and bridge management systems, they are finding that no one management system supports the full range of network and project-level analyses required to meet the demands of TAM practice and Federal regulations. Thus, to support TAM and meet Federal requirements agencies typically rely on multiple systems and approaches with different data requirements, analytical approaches and underlying assumptions. A common approach is to use pavement and bridge management systems to predict network-level conditions, typically projecting conditions out 10 or more years in the future, while making near-term project level decisions in a more decentralized manner using mix of expert judgment and heuristic approaches. In concept the network-level analysis can be used to guide project-level decisions, and specific project plans can often be incorporated in a network level analysis. However, in practice the network and project-level analyses are often performed largely independently from one another incorporating different data, factors and constraints.
The approach of using multiple approaches for network and project level asset analyses has numerous pitfalls. These include, but are not limited to: generating unrealistic predictions of network level conditions; developing projects that do not reflect optimal asset lifecycle plans developed at a network level; waste of staff time through inefficient business processes or duplication of effort; and omission of critical assets from one or more analyses (e.g., for lack of data or a dedicated management system). Guidance is needed to assist agencies in making better use of existing systems to integrate network and project-level analysis, as well as to define a framework for future asset management tools that will enable integrated network and project-level analyses across multiple asset classes, potentially using multi-objective approaches.
The goal of this research is two-fold: to provide guidance on how transportation agencies can best use existing management systems and tools to integrate network and project-level analysis and provide a framework for an improve asset modeling approach that better integrates the project and network levels incorporating multiple asset types and consideration of multiple objectives. The research is intended to be of immediate value in helping transportation agencies better comply with Federal requirements to set performance targets and develop asset management plans. Also, it will help agencies to extend asset management approaches to additional systems and assets, besides the NHS pavement and bridge assets addressed through the Federal regulations. In addition, the research will help define improved approaches for asset management models for public agencies, researchers and system developers to use in developing the next generation of asset management systems.
Research is needed addressing risk analysis/vulnerability quantification and application to multiple transportation modes for purposes of scenario planning at MPO and DOT levels. There is significant variability across agencies with regards to how the agencies analyze risk and their practices for assessing vulnerability. Even basic elements such as methods that agencies use to collect data are not consistent across agencies, further complicating any potential analysis.
This research should:
• Identify pertinent data sources, data types, as well as relevant collection and analysis methods employed by transit agencies.
• Provide a synthesis of examples or State of the Practice applications for MPOs/DOTs.
• Outline communication strategies to the relevant decision-makers.
There are standard practices used internationally for incorporating asset valuation into an organization’s financial statements that have not been adopted in the US. These are important to asset management to support long-term financial planning, leading to improved financial sustainability. Improved practices in asset valuation will allow agencies to use financial valuation and acknowledge that sustainability is not only about maintaining financial capacity (cash) and infrastructure capital (condition).
The objectives of this research are to examine methods for evaluation of system assets. Thorough research should:
• Identify international practices and determine how they can be applied in the US
• Better marry engineering and accounting in financial planning
• Demonstrate benefits through a case study (may be fictional)
Enterprise-wide asset management is a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional, inter-departmental and partner-dependent undertaking that forms the basis of how an organization does business. How does an asset owner ensure that all of those involved in successful asset management are aligned, taking responsibility, and contributing to the effort?
The focus of this research is to support a scan tour or peer exchange addressing organizational alignment for TAM. This falls into three distinct but equally necessary categories: a review of previous knowledge, a inter-agency gathering to assess differing organizational models and policies to TAM, and finally a report or summary of the findings.
State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies are challenged to deliver greater transportation asset management (TAM) performance – even as available resources are increasingly constrained. Agencies recognize that established business processes, organizational structures, technical methodologies, tools, and systems must adapt to meet these challenges. Agencies must increasingly pursue tailored solutions that consider a variety of perspectives and factors – and work in a more collaborative fashion. At the same time, decision processes are more open and desired outcomes are more likely to be measured and reported. Taken together, these dynamics elevate the challenge of effectively implementing TAM for DOTs and other government transportation agencies. As a result, the state of the practice is uneven: TAM is adopted in some organizations but not others, and in some organizations to a greater degree than others.
Research is needed addressing the question: “What are the organizational/cultural factors that were in place before and/or during implementation that created a successful TAM program?” Develop a guidebook to convey lessons learned. Key point: must use an organizational development or similar consulting firm. Not the usual suspects!
The relationships between TAM and economic development, safety, mobility, etc. need to be better understood. This will help activities such and the c