State transportation agencies are stewards for public infrastructure assets that are essential to economic vitality, public safety, and quality of life. Accurate, relevant, and reliable asset valuation is crucial for decision-making to ensure the effective, efficient, and economical management of these public assets.
Congress required, through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21), enacted in 2012, that each state transportation agency develop and implement a risk-based transportation asset management plan (TAMP) that includes a valuation of pavements and bridges on the National Highway System (NHS). State transportation agencies are complying with the requirements through various approaches, but have struggled to incorporate asset valuation into their asset management practices and infrastructure investment and management decisions in a consistent, meaningful way. Practices have been developed and used internationally for incorporating asset valuation into an organization’s financial statements and decision-making processes, and some guidance has been produced in the United States, but such practices have not been much used in this country.
The objective of this research was to develop a guidebook that state transportation agencies and others can use for calculation and communication of the value of transportation assets, and for selecting valuation methods to be used in transportation asset management. This guidebook, applicable to transit as well as highway modes, should (1) present a standardized terminology for discussing asset value, (2) describe currently accepted valuation methods, (3) describe the merits and shortcomings of these methods to produce measures of asset value useful for communicating among stakeholders and making resource allocation decisions, and (4) present advice on determining which valuation methods will be most useful in communication and decision-making for a particular agency.