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34 oriented tools, but such tools would be more of a challenge · A program tradeoff tool that can be used to easily demon- to develop generically so that they could integrate with diverse strate the impacts that changes in a program of projects agency systems and data. would have on a set of basic performance measures. Improvements to existing tools for analyzing impacts of (The decision was made to limit the initial development projects or strategies may be desirable and straightforward to for this tool to a functional spreadsheet-based proof-of- implement in a manner that can be used by a number of dif- concept system.) ferent agencies. However, these types of improvements would not be viewed by most practitioners as addressing core asset Both of these tools support investment versus performance management needs, and they may be addressed by other efforts. tradeoff analysis within the highway mode and are designed A tool that would assist with project prioritization across to make use of available management systems and project- project types would interest some agencies, but it would not level analysis tool results. The two tools are complementary. have universal appeal. This need is generally best addressed The first tool supports decisions about the relative mix of via benefit/cost analysis tools that handle a diverse set of proj- expenditures on different assets over the long term and works ect types such as those in place in Washington and California. with aggregated network-level information from existing Agencies wishing to improve their capabilities to compare management systems. The second tool supports shorter-term diverse projects could certainly use the tools in place in those program adjustment decisions that frequently must be made states (and others available internationally) as a starting point. within a short timeframe and with limited information on Existing LCCA products for pavement and bridges have how a given change would impact the program's overall out- recently been released, and some agencies have developed comes. their own methods. The candidate initiative in this area would The two tools are envisioned to be part of a family of tools be to facilitate the use of these tools (which require an exten- or "toolbox" for analyzing transportation asset tradeoffs. To sive array of inputs) by providing some rules of thumb and reinforce this idea, the name "AssetManager" was selected sample default values that would be of assistance to users of to represent the family of tools and "NT" and "PT" was these tools. selected to designate the network tradeoff and program-level A nearly universal need was expressed for better tools to tradeoff tools, respectively. track actual costs and effectiveness, bringing together infor- The two tools can be used in a coordinated fashion, as mation on both maintenance and capital projects in a form illustrated in Figure 3 and explained in the following that facilitates understanding of activity costs by asset over paragraphs: time and in a form that could be used to update assumptions in management systems. However, because cost-tracking 1. Individual management systems or simulation tools (e.g., methods are not standardized and the level of data varies con- bridge and pavement management systems, HERS/ST) siderably across agencies, solving this problem generically are run to produce inputs for AssetManager NT. These with an add-on tool would be a significant challenge. inputs would include both outcome-oriented perfor- mance measures (e.g., pavement and bridge condition) and output-oriented measures (e.g., miles of resurfacing, 4.3 SELECTED TOOL CONCEPTS number of bridges replaced). 2. AssetManager NT's what-if capabilities are used to sup- Based on the screening results and discussion with the port resource allocation decisions, providing an under- research panel, two tool concepts were selected for develop- standing of the performance outcomes and outputs ment. These concepts were developed with an understanding (work done) that can be achieved with the chosen of the myriad reasons why existing tools have not been used investment levels. This analysis is used to establish per- to their full potential. To avoid the same pitfalls, they were formance targets. designed to be simple and flexible, to build on existing data 3. AssetManager PT is used to explore the performance and tools that are in use, and to provide answers to critical implications of short-range (1- to 3-year) programs of tradeoff questions. The need for these kinds of tools was projects. The output-oriented work targets from Asset- clearly evident through the state interviews and was con- Manager NT are input into AssetManager PT and used firmed by the research panel, which represent a diverse set of as a reference point to see how close a given set of agencies and perspectives. projects is tracking with targets established as part of The following tool concepts were recommended: longer-range performance versus investment analysis. · A network tradeoff tool to analyze investment versus The tools that were developed are described in detail in performance across categories for the highway mode and Section 5.
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35 TABLE 8 Screening evaluation of candidate tool concepts Evaluation A B C D E Type of Analysis Candidate Tool Concepts Need AM Void Fit Risk Investment versus · Preventive/Routine maintenance (all assets). 5 5 4 4 2 performance within categories · Pavement needs versus loadings. 3 5 1 3 5 · Safety. 4 1 2 3 2 · Equipment/Building management. 3 3 1 3 1 · ITS. 3 3 2 3 1 Investment versus · Multimodal, multiobjective cross-program 3 5 4 3 2 performance across category tradeoffs. categories · Highway Mode: Impacts of marginal 5 5 4 3 3 changes in budgets by category (based on asset type, work type, geographic area, etc.). Predicted impacts for · Tool to produce aggregate condition/ 4 5 3 2 3 a set of proposed performance measures given a set of projects projects in the program. Impacts of alternative · Tool to test alternative project scoping 3 3 3 3 5 policies/standards for policies at the program level. project scope, timing, and design · Tool to analyze impacts of project timing 3 3 3 4 5 options on user costs. Project [or strategy] · Supplemental modules for existing tools to 3 1 2 5 4 evaluation address freight-related impacts and economic development impacts. · Extension of tool capabilities to handle additional project types (e.g., drainage 3 1 3 5 4 projects, new interchanges). Project prioritization · Cross-project prioritization tool. 2 3 4 3 2 Life-cycle cost · Tool to support development of needed 3 5 3 4 3 inputs to existing LCCA models e.g., default values for different facility classes. Monitoring actual · Model database with information on activity- 5 3 5 2 1 project costs and based costs and effectiveness in format effectiveness (to needed to support asset management system provide feedback into updating, with query tools and sample management systems) procedures for populating from maintenance and construction management systems. Pavement and Bridge $$ vs. performance over time Management Systems Performance-Based Resource Allocation AssetManager NT Annual Work Targets Work Candidates AssetManager PT Performance-Based Programs Project Planning and Evaluation Systems Figure 3. Coordinated use of AssetManager NT and PT.