A Multi‐asset Transportation Infrastructure Asset Management Framework and Modeling for Local Governments

Project Details
Author(s) Zhaohua Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology
CTEDD Funding Year 2017 General RFP
Project Status Complete
UTC Funding $58,266.35
End Date August 31, 2018


The local governments LGs in the Unitized States are managing 3/4 of total 4 million miles of roadway and more than 1/2 of nearly 600,000 bridges, which are critical transportation infrastructure assets to support the mobility, economy, and homeland security in local communities and the nation as a whole. To maintain the aging transportation infrastructure in the state of good repair under the shrinking budget, the state Departments of Transportation DOTs have adopted asset management systems AMSs to conduct cost effective maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction MR #038;R . However, most of LGs still rely on individuals knowledge and experience to manage and make decisions on transportation infrastructure MR #038;R. The lack of a systematic approach for managing transportation infrastructure assets makes it difficult to for an LG to maximize the benefit of the scarce transportation budget and demonstrate accountability to the legislatures, the public, and other stakeholders. To address the above issues, this project is to analyze the underlying factors that hinder LGs from adopting AMS through a comprehensive survey. Then, a multi asset management ...framework for LGs is proposed. The proposed framework extensively considers the LGs particularity in organization, workforce, and funding sources. In the meantime, the similarity to the corresponding state DOTs are also considered. Thus, the state DOTs resources can be wisely leveraged. To implement the asset inventory, condition assessment, and management, the most up to date technologies such as 3D sensing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cloud computing, GIS/GPS, and mobile and web applications are evaluated and incorporated. The MR #038;R decision making process is modeled as a multi asset, multi facility mathematical programming. Various exact solutions and heuristic approaches are evaluated and tested to solve the large scale optimization problem. Finally, a case study is developed based on the practice of a county or a city Read more

Problem Statement

Of the over 4 million miles of roadways, roughly three-fourths are managed by county and city governments. And of the over 600,000 road bridges in the United States, counties and cities manage more than half. Due to traffic loads and material aging, the conditions of these transportation assets are in decline. Policymakers must therefore spend money to repair them and ensure they remain in serviceable condition. Due to both shrinking infrastructure budgets and skyrocketing repair demands, it is effectively impossible to repair all roads and bridges as needed. Thus, the decisionmakers in local government must make hard but informed choices about when, where, and how to repair roads and bridges in the most cost-effective way possible. Currently, most local-government decisionmakers act based on their knowledge and experience, rather than on any national set of objective criteria, which can make it difficult for the public to understand the decision-making process. Political ...and personal questions influence the public s questioning here. For example, Why didn t they repair the road in front of my house? To make this decision-making process transparent to the public, and more importantly, to make the repair process itself more efficient, a more systematic approach is Read more


The objectives of this project are: 1 to analyze the underlying factors that hinder local governments LGs from adopting transportation asset management TAM to efficiently and cost-effectively maintain their transportation infrastructure assets in the state of good repair; 2 to propose a multi-asset management framework that considers the LGs particularity in organization, workforce, and funding sources; and 3 to explore a multi-asset, multi-facility mathematical programming to support the network-level MR R decision-making.

To fulfill the above objectives, this project conducted an online survey that targeted the local agencies in the state of Georgia. The findings from this survey showed that few LGs are applying proper TAM practices with main weaknesses in organization, staffing, adopted technologies, available funding and resource allocation. Most local agencies lack ..a well-structured organizational chart with no roles and responsibilities being clearly set. Also, in addition to the shortage of human resources, the available staff lack the required skillset and training. Funding is a major issue facing LGs as their assets increasing needs are not covered by the shrinking budgets. This is further aggravated by having a simple and subjective decision-making process. Communication with involved stakeholders is missing as no performance reports are being issued on a regular basis. Thus, TAM programs are still weak in LGs due to many factors which need to be addressed and remedied.

Consequently, an asset management guideline was developed to suit the needs and capabilities of local agencies in general, and those within the state of Georgia in particular. This guideline will assist the local agencies in understanding all the components of a proper TAM program, believing in its effectiveness, and knowing where to begin in case of new adoption or else how to ameliorate and develop the current practice. The guideline presents the TAM framework proposed by FHWA showing its critical components which are discussed in detail throughout the document. More importantly, the current TAM practices in local agencies based on the online survey were also embedded in the guideline, which helps a local agency better understand the issues or obstacles in Read more



This research project explored a new framework for managing multiple interdependent transportation assets, e.g. pavements and bridges. Unlike the traditionally used Multi-Criterial-Decision-Making (MCDM) based models, the new framework enhanced the objectivity in cross-asset management. The new cross-asset management framework requires the integration of two disciplines, traffic engineering and pavement/bridge engineering. However, there is lack of the interdisciplinary research in the existing literature. Thus, more search is still needed. Based on the online survey and analysis, transportation asset management is still very immature in local governments. We hope the developed transportation asset management guideline will help local governments develop dedicated workforce to systematically manage the transportation assets. Through the following implementation of the developed guideline, we hope to establish a close relationship with local governments. The ..implementation of transportation asset management will help local governments LGs to efficiently and cost-effectively manage and maintain transportation assets in the state of good repair under the shrinking budget, and demonstrate accountability to the legislatures, the public, and other stakeholders. Thus, it has broad impacts in improving the mobility, economy, and homeland security for local communities Read more

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Subjects#: Asset Management, Bridges, Maintenance, Policy, State Government