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1-3-1 CHAPTER 3 Risk Management Implementation As illustrated by the various case study examples presented successes in steering the culture away from a worst-ﬁrst men- throughout this primer, each agency’s approach to risk man- tality to two things: (1) obtaining buy-in from top management agement for resource allocation is speciﬁc to its unique needs (in this case, GDOT’s Chief Engineer/Deputy Commission), and applications. Likewise, each agency will face different and (2) creating a sense of ownership among its technical ranks challenges for continued implementation and reﬁnement over by asking the agency’s pavement, bridge, and maintenance time. In the context of their unique programs, this section experts to provide details for the new process. summarizes each DOT’s risk management implementation Looking ahead, GDOT also plans to focus on two areas that considerations and next steps. will further the implementation of its asset management and risk management efforts. The ﬁrst is to develop an approach for informing the allocation of funds across program areas 3.1 GDOT Pavement and (e.g., pavement versus bridge versus roadway expansion) Bridge Preservation through tradeoff analysis. The second is to develop data gov- Risk Assessment ernance standards for its condition and performance data. For example, identify each data element required to calculate From a technical perspective, GDOT is testing the pavement each metric, and then, for each element, determine a standard risk factors to ensure their overall validity. It also is evaluat- deﬁnition, a data owner, a QA/QC process, a data storage pro- ing the potential for enhancing the process for application to tocol, etc. This work will set the stage for a central repository its Interstate Highway System. The bridge risk factors were that provides GDOT staff with ready access to timely and incorporated into GDOT’s latest programming cycle. In both quality performance data. cases, the intent of the resulting priority scores (which combine condition with risk) is to serve as one input into the decision- making process. They are combined with other factors such 3.2 Mn/DOT’s Bridge Programming as legislative requirements for the equitable distribution of Risk Assessment funds, proximity to other planned projects, and engineering Risk assessment and management is being implemented at judgment. The intent of GDOT’s asset management (and risk Mn/DOT due to leadership from the commissioner, who has management) program is to inform—rather than dictate— hired a risk expert to incorporate these principles into the resource allocation decisions. agency’s overall decision-making process. It is expected that From an institutional perspective, GDOT is working to this assessment will be used to inform decisions about project address the paradigm shift of moving from a worst-ﬁrst to a selection. The exact process of incorporating the new risk most-at-risk approach. For example, it is likely that a risk-based model with the existing Mn/DOT Decision Matrix for prior- approach will lead to GDOT letting certain low-risk assets itizing projects still must be determined. deteriorate to a point that is lower than would have been Agencywide, risk management implementation is going to tolerated under a worst-ﬁrst approach. This, in turn, may lead be an organic process to ensure risk practices are used where to GDOT lowering its overall condition targets, which would be valuable and scalable. Although the vision is to successfully signiﬁcant internally because GDOT historically prides itself integrate risk management throughout Mn/DOT, imple- on the overall condition of its assets relative to other agencies mentation has been mindful of both need and demand for throughout the United States. GDOT attributes its early
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1-3-2 the service from internal customers. One tool for this is the approach and move away from a “one design ﬁts all” approach to bridge reconstruction. In particular, WSDOT hopes to Mn/DOT Risk Management Workshop. These workshops develop a risk assessment procedure that considers tradeoffs have increased the department’s ability to move forward with between different program areas and that incorporates ﬂexi- difficult projects, program goals, decisions, and initiatives. bility in design standards. In just under 2 years, over 40 diverse risk management work- shops have helped generate cooperation and communication for a variety of topics and decisions. 3.5 Caltrans’ Bridge Seismic Safety Retrofit Program 3.3 TxDOT’s Statewide Freight As the program comes to a close and after evaluating the Resiliency Plan program in retrospect, Caltrans identified several lessons learned from the program with implications for next steps. Considering the complexity involved in developing a resiliency plan, TxDOT is proceeding with a three-staged • The mandate resulted in a funding priority for the program approach to risk management, as shown in Figure 1.3.1. The SFR Plan completed in February 2011 focused on Stage 1, an over other programs; a tighter ﬁnancial constraint could assessment of the freight system’s preparedness from the per- have resulted in a different overall process, prioritization spective of TxDOT as the managing organization. The results scheme, or set of mitigation strategies. • Retroﬁtting as part of the program was exempt from the of the Stage 1 plan indicate that the overall freight transporta- tion system in Texas is prepared for an event, but there are state environmental impact report (EIR) requirements in physical and institutional improvements that could provide order to expedite the process. In some cases, replacement higher levels of resiliency. As a result, TxDOT’s Transportation may have been a cheaper construction alternative but was not Planning and Programming Division could use the SFR Plan selected since it would have been subject to the more time- to inform the planning process and to advocate for additional consuming and costly EIR requirements. • The availability of additional data for the bridges that were funding for freight-related improvements in the state. Assessing the robustness and resiliency of the freight network informs screened for potential seismic vulnerabilities would have decisionmakers by providing a risk-based assessment of the reduced the up-front analysis time and cost for the retroﬁt state’s transportation needs. program. Caltrans is currently working to expand its bridge In the stages to follow, Stage 2 will focus on communication database. • Some retroﬁt projects were incorporated into widening or and plan implementation during response to an actual event and its recovery. Stage 3 incorporates a continuous feedback other highway improvement projects. This often increased loop to update the plan on a regular basis to keep it relevant efﬁciency, but sometimes made the project subject to EIR and effective over time. requirements. 3.4 Washington State’s Bridge 3.6 Summary of Common Themes Retrofit Risk Assessment Taken collectively, the experiences at the five agencies WSDOT’s approach for programming bridge retrofits described above help to illustrate a number of common themes and reconstruction is still in its nascent stages, and has yet to related to the development and implementation of a risk be speciﬁcally deﬁned. Looking ahead, WSDOT hopes to use management process. These include research from this and other studies to further develop its • When developing a risk management process, there is a need to work closely with, and gather input from, all involved parties within the agency (e.g., bridge engineers, the asset management group) and/or external to the agency (system users, peer reviewers, etc.); • Agencies have, or desire to, fit risk assessment and man- agement within existing performance-based planning and programming processes, with the culmination of the process Source: TranSystems. being a factor or adjustment to existing prioritization scores Figure 1.3.1. Texas SFR plan stages. and therefore inﬂuencing the programming process;
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1-3-3 • Agencies want to evolve into performing tradeoffs between impact on the entire system (other through a systems-level different assets within their risk management process, but view of the consequences of a risk occurring); and • Although the risk management approaches reviewed for this this has not yet been implemented among the interviewed agencies; study all align generally with the generic risk management • During the risk management process, it is important to process described in this primer, the details vary signiﬁ- consider both the individual facility (often through asset- cantly based on the individual needs of the implementing speciﬁc estimates of the likelihood of a risk) and its potential agency.