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19 received no expressions of interest from elected offi- feet of bridge deck, was indexed back to the year of cials or the general public. However, the Department construction. notes that this is just the first year of implementation. It Unlike many states, TxDOT did not report difficulty in expects that general interest will increase as the accu- accounting for additions to and retirements of infrastruc- racy of the information improves and as a time series of ture assets. There is now an annual entry to the account- validated data becomes available and trends can be ing system for construction-in-progress and fixed asset observed. classes. The threshold for an addition is when 85% of anticipated project expenditures have occurred. TxDOT believes that the information generated by the TEXAS GASB 34 exercise is potentially useful for resource Texas DOT (TxDOT) used the modified approach for most allocation decision-making, but, to date, there has been of its assets, but selected the depreciation approach for bridges virtually no interest in this information by elected offi- and some minor asset classes. This combination approach cials or the general public. The Department is disap- was used because the bridge management system (developed pointed that its significant effort in seriously addressing in house) includes a good inventory from which to make GASB 34 has produced little benefit other than com- depreciation calculations, but does not have asset management plying with the requirement. functions. Another factor was that TxDOT views bridges as having a more definable lifecycle than roadways, so bridges VERMONT are more appropriate to the depreciation calculation. If TxDOT develops a bridge management system with the necessary The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) selected functionality, it might consider a shift to the modified approach the depreciation approach, primarily because its asset man- for bridges. The following items from the interviews were agement system does not meet the specific requirements of deemed to be particularly noteworthy: the modified approach under GASB 34. Further, VTrans views finance and accounting as inherently separate from asset man- The Comptroller's office led the state's overall GASB agement issues and does not perceive an advantage in includ- 34 implementation committee, including a Capital Asset ing reports on asset condition and related matters in the finan- team in which TxDOT participated. The committees cial statements. The following items from the interviews met for about 11/2 years--an early start was a key to suc- were deemed to be particularly noteworthy: cess. A Capital Asset Guide was prepared and is avail- able on the internet. In addition, an internal TxDOT During the implementation process, VTrans worked with committee met throughout the period. the Director of Statewide Financial Reporting and the TxDOT developed condition targets for roadways based State Auditor, but there was not a statewide committee. on a condition assessment system that sampled condi- Within VTrans, a steering committee composed of the tions on 5% of the network (10% for Interstates). The Director of Administration and the Director of Program targets are fiscally constrained and are approved for- Development/Chief Engineer made the decisions and mally by the Transportation Commission. directed activities, which were carried out by a working The correlation between targeted conditions and esti- committee. mated required expenditures is weak and will require As a depreciation approach state, VTrans did not target further development over the next few years. However, condition levels nor estimate the costs to achieve such TxDOT believes that the comparison between targeted targets. and actual condition levels, as opposed to the compari- As a depreciation approach state, VTrans grouped expen- son between planned and actual expenditures, is the ditures for preservation and capital projects together. It more meaningful aspect of the exercise. did not experience difficulty in differentiating these proj- Full reconstruction of a roadway, even without addition ects from maintenance expenditures and followed the of lanes, was categorized as a capital expense, as was a GASB 34 guidelines without exception. dualization project that included both new road con- 19801993 historical cost estimates were derived from struction and overlay of an existing roadway. There was project ledger data with some adjustments to exclude no attempt to allocate the costs of such projects between maintenance costs and to allocate among asset classes. preservation and capital because the effort would be From 1994 to the present, the project cost system extensive and cost prohibitive. includes detailed object codes that simplify the conver- Historical costs for highways were estimated through a sion to asset classes. combination of AASHO: The First 50 Years and TxDOT Additions to and retirements of infrastructure assets by financial reports. For bridges, the current year replace- asset class represented new information that had to be ment cost for each bridge category, measured by square developed by the preparation of forms for each project.