Congress passed legislation cited as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and referenced as MAP-21. Among other things, the legislation requires States to develop a risk-based asset management plan for the National Highway System (NHS) to improve or preserve the condition of the assets and the performance of the system. Initially, the legislation focuses on the development of asset management plans for bridges and pavements on the NHS, but States are encouraged to include all infrastructure assets within the right-of-way corridor in their plan.
The benefits in the use of Transportation Asset Management Plans (TAMP) are promoted in the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide – A Focus on Implementation. The AASHTO Implementation Guide promotes the TAMP as a communication tool and an accountability mechanism for an agency. In accordance with MAP-21, the TAMP serves as a way to formalize and document the following types of key information into a single document:
1. A summary listing of the pavement and bridge assets on the NHS in the State, including a description of the condition of those assets.
2. Asset management objectives and measures.
3. A summary of the gap between targeted and actual performance.
4. Strategies for cost-effectively managing the assets, including lifecycle cost and risk management analysis.
5. A financial plan for addressing the performance gap.
6. Investment strategies that describe planned improvements and planned performance resulting from the implementation.
The AASHTO Implementation Guide presents information on developing the TAMP, involving the appropriate people in the development of the document, and linking the plan to agency business processes. It also discusses the importance of tailoring the TAMP to agency resources and matching the content of the TAMP to one of the following three levels of maturity:
1. An initial plan, using existing data and strategies.
2. A “core” plan, with demand forecasts and long-term financial projections.
3. An “advanced” plan, with risk, targeted service levels, and stakeholder buy-in.
While the AASHTO Implementation Guide helps to describe the content of a TAMP and to describe its many benefits, there are a limited number of examples of TAMPs that have been developed by state highway agencies. Therefore, to develop a TAMP each state highway agency must assess its current level of asset management maturity , use its resources to find appropriate data, do the data analysis, and complete the documents. Under this study, a detailed Guidebook on Preparing a Transportation Asset Management Plan and electronic templates for developing an initial and a core TAMP that focuses on pavements and bridges will be created to aid transportation agencies through the development of these documents. The electronic templates will be supported by a Guidebook that includes an explanation of the typical sources for developing the TAMP content and examples from US-based transportation agencies. At the completion of the project, the results will be presented in a Webconference sponsored by AASHTO and FHWA.
Transportation agencies are facing increasing pressure to enhance performance-based asset management decisions that consider risk and long-term financial consequences. AASHTO is supporting the use of performance-based decisions, as evidenced by the recent publication and promotion of the Transportation Asset Management Guide – A Focus on Implementation. The passage of MAP-21 adds additional urgency to the matter since States are now required to develop an Asset Management Plan that documents how they intend to improve or preserve the condition of their assets and the performance of the system. As a result, there is tremendous interest among state highway agencies to begin the development of their Asset Management Plans and improve them in the future.
Because of the urgency of this matter, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently issued a Request for Proposals to pilot the development of a TAMP in three state DOTs. Based on the proposed project description, the lessons learned during the pilot in three states will lead to the development of a guide that is expected to serve as a template for developing a TAMP in other states. The guide is expected to be developed in approximately 2 years after the start of the project. Therefore, there is an increased urgency to move forward with this project to facilitate and complement the FHWA’s effort so that a coordinated approach is developed.
This project included the development of a Guidebook on Preparing a Transportation Asset Management Plan and electronic templates for use by state highway agencies to assist them with the preparation of the Transportation Asset Management Plans required under MAP-21. Both the Guidebook and electronic templates will supplement the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide: A Focus on Implementation, Chapter 4, Transportation Asset Management Plan.
Specifically, the project created electronic templates for developing an initial and a core TAMP using pavements and bridges as examples. In addition, the Guidebook is designed to support the use of the templates, describing the typical sources of information, providing examples of different strategies for addressing each section and possible strategies to integrate asset management with other plans. The products of this research (including the Guidebook and electronic templates) address the requirements outlined in MAP-21 and make use of readily-available information as much as possible to support the states’ performance-based asset management processes.