Asset management is an emerging concept in the transportation industry. The idea is to manage our infrastructure (assets) by focusing on performance. Asset management takes a “strategic” approach to transportation, one that looks at the network as a whole, rather than as series of individual projects in distinct jurisdictions. The concept is based on the principles of stewardship of public resources, accountability to users of the system, and continuous improvement.
Asset management requires a solid foundation of data, which will allow transportation professionals to monitor the transportation system and plan how to optimize the preservation, improvement and timely replacement of assets. Instead of simply accounting for existing infrastructure, asset management strives to ensure the proper use and performance of those assets, a process that involves the continuous assessment of conditions and evaluation of trade-offs between different actions.
The major elements of the asset management process are:
» Establishing goals and objectives through development of a strategic plan
» Collecting data to determine current pavement and bridge conditions
» Using management systems to control the various processes
» Identifying standards and benchmarks
» Developing appropriate performance measures
» Making decisions based on these results and developing an appropriate program
» Implementing the program
» Monitoring and reporting results of actions taken
Asset Management in Michigan
Public Act 499 of 2002 establishes a ten member Transportation Asset Management Council. The Council is comprised of members from the Michigan Department of Transportation, the County Road Association of Michigan, the Municipal League, the regional planning agencies, the Michigan Association of Counties, and the Michigan Townships Association. According to the Act, the mission of the Council is to: “Advise the State Transportation Commission on a statewide asset management strategy and the necessary procedures and analytical tools to implement such a strategy on Michigan ’s highway system in a cost-effective, efficient manner.”
The law requires the Council to set up a process for determining the condition of Michigan’s highways and bridges and to develop a strategy so that those assets are maintained, preserved and improved in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The Asset Management Council will initially develop a strategy for Michigan’s federal-aid eligible roads and bridges. Once this process has been fully established for the federal-aid eligible roads and bridges it is to be extended to all public roads.
The asset management process is one of cooperation among the various owners of the assets. The process began with a statewide Road Condition Survey for federal-aid eligible roads and bridges. Using this data as a basis, the Transportation Asset Management Council will identify deficiencies and develop broad, network-level goals and objectives, focusing on statewide targets for system condition. The individual road agencies will continue to make project-level decisions and identify which projects will be undertaken, hopefully addressing the identified deficiencies in their project schedules.
An Annual Report detailing all road and bridge work performed by MDOT and the local road agencies will be submitted to the State Transportation Commission and the Legislature by May 2nd of each year. The Asset Management Council must also publish a Multi-Year Program consisting of a list of all highway and bridge projects that are anticipated to be constructed over a three-year period. This program must be available by October 1st of each year. The benefits of the asset management approach include:
» Taking a systematic approach to the entire network
» Proactively managing rates of deterioration
» Committing to do the right fix at the right time
» The ability to meet established network goals
2012 PASER Ratings: