State transportation officials at all levels are faced with the task of managing a wide range of transportation assets in order to respond to public, agency, and legislative expectations. These assets include the physical infrastructure (e.g., pavements, bridges, and airports) and also an agency's financial capacity, human resources, equipment and materials, real estate, and corporate data and information. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has identified "asset management" as a priority initiative for the association and its members. Member agencies are requesting assistance and guidance for applying asset management and for developing tools necessary to integrate the management of their transportation assets.
Asset management enables an agency, based on its goals, to produce an investment plan that considers the technical, financial, and political factors that affect decisions. Asset management techniques and systems must provide an ability to display existing conditions and to analyze investment options and their impacts. For these reasons, automated systems equipped with comprehensive analysis tools, operating on integrated agency data, and capable of performing prioritization and optimization given a defined set of objectives are necessary. However, these systems must complement the decision-making processes and organizational structure of each agency that allow it to function cohesively and to manage its assets effectively.
Although many transportation agencies have various individual management systems (e.g., pavement, bridge, and maintenance), research is needed to provide guidance and an integrated management framework to merge these disparate individual asset management systems, whether fully developed or not, with the decision-making processes. This integration will provide agencies with new tools to help decision makers allocate available funds across competing needs. Research must include the identification and evaluation of asset management concepts and practices and provide agencies with the tools necessary to make more informed decisions related to user benefits; system preservation, improvements, and operations; and life-cycle costing.
The objectives of this researcweree to develop: (a) a first generation Asset Management Guide for use by AASHTO member agencies; (b) a synthesis of current practices and available tools; (c) a framework for an asset management system; and (d) recommended research for filling gaps in existing knowledge and developing tools for the next generation of the Guide.
The research contract has been completed. AASHTO has adopted the Transportation Asset Management Guide
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Final agency versions of three Phase I reports are available as NCHRP Web Document 41
Task 1 of 3: Synthesis of Asset Management Practice
Task 2 of 3: Asset Management Framework
Task 3 of 3: Recommended Research Program
A brief summary of Phase I and the three task reports is also available as NCHRP Research Results Digest 266
Phase II products have been submitted; contractor versions of the final Phase II products, the Transportation Asset Management Guide
and a self-assessment brochure are available below.
Project Final Report http://downloads.transportation.org/amguide.pdf