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The National Academies

NCHRP 08-103 [Completed]

Implementing NCHRP Report 806: Guide to Cross-Asset Resource Allocation and the Impact on Transportation System Performance

  Project Data
Funds: $398,300
Research Agency: Spy Pond Partners
Principal Investigator: William Robert
Effective Date: 6/1/2016
Completion Date: 9/30/2018
Comments: Final report received January 2019.

BACKGROUND
 
As transportation agencies implement performance-based asset management programs, they increasingly seek out the best allocation of resources to achieve multiple strategic objectives and to assess quantitatively the consequences of program-level investment fluctuations. Identifying the best allocation of resources involves optimizing investments in asset portfolios to achieve multiple objectives, while simultaneously satisfying the performance and cost constraints associated with individual programs and the entire portfolio of assets.  Transportation agencies have implemented a variety of management systems, such as pavement, bridge, and safety management systems, to analyze needs, recommend work, and predict future performance for a given asset or investment type. NCHRP Report 806: Guide to Cross-Asset Resource Allocation and the Impact on Transportation System Performance provides guidance on how to approach resource allocation among a set of diverse candidate projects from an agency’s management systems or other sources. Included with NCHRP Report 806 is a cross-asset allocation tool that was developed to implement the objective-weighting and mathematical optimization procedure for considering alternative allocations of resources across organizational units. Additional research is needed to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing the NCHRP Report 806 prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool. Specifically, research is needed on the practicality of integrating management system outputs and non-modeled performance goals into a fully functioning deployment of the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
The objective of this research is to demonstrate the implementation of the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool developed in NCHRP Report 806: Guide to Cross-Asset Resource Allocation and the Impact on Transportation System Performance. The research should address a broad range of activities related to cross asset resource allocation and its use such as, but not limited to the following:
 
  • Evaluation criteria for measuring the value of implementing the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool, considering, among other things, both the benefits gained (does the prototype yield better decisions/project choices?) and management resources applied;
  • A minimum of 2 case studies (e.g., DOTs, MPOs, district/division, corridor) to test the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool on a minimum of 3 asset or investment types (e.g., pavements, bridges, culverts, ITS, safety, freight mobility);
  • A self-assessment method for transportation agencies considering the adoption of the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool;
  • Lessons learned in each case study (e.g., implementation challenges, measures to address them, best practices, sensitivity of the outputs to input variations, and suggested improvements to the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool); and
  • Sources for the data required for the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool.
 
RESEARCH PLAN
 
The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. A kick-off teleconference of the research team and NCHRP shall be scheduled within 1 month of the contract’s execution. The work plan proposed must be divided into two Phases with tasks, with each task described in detail. Phase 1 must not exceed $100,000. There must be an interim report documenting the Phase 1 tasks and a face-to-face meeting scheduled with NCHRP to discuss the interim report and the plan for Phase 2. The project schedule shall include 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report. No work will be performed on Phase 2 without NCHRP approval.   The final deliverables will include (1) case studies demonstrating the implementation of the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool developed in NCHRP Report 806 that include (a)  evaluation criteria for measuring the value of implementing the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool; (b) results of the case studies as measured against the identified evaluation criteria; (c) a self-assessment method for transportation agencies considering adoption of the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool; (d) lessons learned in each case study (e.g., implementation challenges, measures to address them, best practices, sensitivity of the outputs to input variations, suggested improvements to the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool); and (e) sources for the data required for the prototype cross-asset allocation tool; (2) a final report documenting the entire project, incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research; (3) an executive summary that outlines the research results; (4) a one-page fact sheet describing for public stakeholders the added value of using the prototype cross-asset resource allocation tool; (5) recommendations on needs and priorities for additional related research; and (6) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note C for additional information).
 

STATUS: Final report submitted January 2019.

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