The National Academies

NCHRP 08-91 [Final]

Cross-Asset Resource Allocation and the Impact on System Performance

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Research Agency: CH2M HILL
Principal Investigator: Michelle Maggiore, Kevin Ford
Effective Date: 2/5/2013
Completion Date: 9/28/2014

State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other local and regional agencies must invest public resources—funds, land, staffing, and others—to develop and operate a transportation system that will provide mobility—efficiently, safely, with least possible environmentally adverse impact—to support the economy and enhance quality of life. These investments are made to construct, maintain, preserve, enhance, rehabilitate, or replace a diverse portfolio of physical assets such as pavement, traffic signals, guard rails, bridges, transit, signs, and drainage structures. Deciding how best to allocate inevitably limited resources across these various types of assets to provide acceptable transportation system performance poses a persistent and difficult challenge for agency managers, elected officials, and the public.  
The objective of this research was to develop a guidebook that senior DOT managers may use to analyze and communicate the likely system performance impact of investment decisions across multiple types of transportation assets. The guidebook includes a framework incorporating (a) the several dimensions of system performance important to stakeholders (such as mobility, safety, and community livability); (b) the multiple measures an agency uses to describe condition and service of particular classes of transportation-system assets (such as pavements, signals, and drainage structures); and (c) the targets that an agency may set for the various dimensions of performance. This framework, intended to facilitate communication of asset management and resource allocation decisions, was field tested and refined to ensure that it can be adapted to the situations of specific agencies to help senior executives, elected officials, and the public to understand the performance consequences of asset-specific investments in their transportation system.  The research team's final report has been published as NCHRP Report 806.  
The research team developed a demonstration spreadsheet tool and accompanying users guide that are available in CD format as CRP-CD-166; an image file (17 MB) usable to prepare a CD may be downloaded by clicking here.  Pages 34-40 of the User Guide provide guidance on requirements for using the application; some users may find that their agency's security policies limit the tool's functionality.  The application's developers may be able to provide assistance: Kevin Ford (kmford1985@gmail.com ) or Qiang Bai (baiqiang@gmail.com).

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