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4 Impacts of project needs criteria and design stan- a function of key parameters. These "solutions" are then dards. How to explore how variations in design stan- incorporated in very efficient mathematical relation- dards or project needs criteria might affect long-term ships so that an end-user investigating bridge invest- costs and system performance measures. ment options in effect "sees" the implications of his or her Multiobjective evaluation. How to understand the decisions in real time. The user can fine-tune the invest- impacts of a given mix of projects, recognizing that ment parameters to achieve an optimal result quickly and (1) each project may have both positive and negative effectively. With its ability to relate outputs and out- impacts with respect to different performance objectives comes to decision inputs in real time, NBIAS is useful and (2) cross-project elasticities may be at work (one as a communications tool to policy-makers and as a project may have the effect of reducing or increasing the decision tool to managers. Another way to apply this effectiveness of a second project). approach is to exercise simulation models repetitively to obtain solutions to a set of problems and then to display these several results in a convenient format (e.g., simple Some agencies are pursuing new performance-based parametric curves, diagrams defining preferred solu- approaches to asset management and are seeking improved tions for particular combinations of inputs, or "rules of tools for addressing the cited types of questions. The capa- thumb" procedures). bilities of existing management systems and tools need to be Databases can be organized to compile information on strengthened, supplemented, and better integrated to address particular topics, such as highway performance stan- gaps in current decision-support capabilities. For example, dards by functional classification. Such databases can although considerable effort is being expended to define and be helpful in designing and building more effective ana- collect data on performance measures and although such lytic components of asset management, as well as hous- measures are used for technical evaluations and tactical deci- ing current information after implementation for use in sions, tools are lacking for more strategic applications such cross-sectional and trend analyses. as tradeoff analyses. New tools must be easy to implement and suitable for inte- gration into transportation organizations with varying data- This research has identified areas in which additional analy- bases, systems, and decision-making processes. These tools sis support would have the most impact on asset management must complement, enhance, and extend, rather than duplicate, practice. The research has focused on building capabilities existing tools and systems. Additionally, these tools should likely to be deployed in numerous agencies and unlikely to be apply to several levels within the transportation organiza- addressed soon by other tool-development efforts. tion. Several types of tools were therefore considered in this Figure 1 illustrates a high-level vision for how new ana- research effort: lytical tools will work with core asset information, agency business rules, and national or agency-specific parameters to provide improved decision-support capabilities. Simulation models that provide detailed analyses of the performance, costs, and impacts of decisions regarding transportation systems. These types of models are very 1.2 OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH useful for analyzing complex problems with many inter- APPROACH active elements; however, they typically require consid- erable input data and either a well-structured set of deci- The research effort was divided into two phases. The ini- sion rules or repetitive runs to analyze different options. tial phase was a 6-month process to recommend a set of tools Sketch-planning tools also embody analyses of perfor- for development, based on both an assessment of current mance, costs, and impacts of transportation decisions, but needs and a review of existing tools. The second phase of the at a less detailed level. They are easier and quicker to use research consisted of a 24-month effort to design, prototype, and can be used to explore several options quickly and field test, refine, and deliver the final tools. effectively. These tools may be built as computer appli- cations, spreadsheet workbooks, or manuals of heuristic procedures. Needs Assessment What-if tools can be used when very simple and easy- to-use analytic procedures are needed. Existing simula- In conducting the needs assessment, the research team tion or sketch-planning tools are applied repetitively to analyzed key aspects of a DOT's business processes to iden- "solve" a particular problem; this "solution" can then be tify likely candidates for analytic techniques to be developed embodied in a very simple format for application by in this project. Figure 2 illustrates a generalized model for end-users. For example, the FHWA's National Bridge asset management decision-making that provided a frame- Investment Analysis System (NBIAS) uses mathemati- work for the needs assessment. cal techniques to "solve" bridge investment problems as Key processes in this model follow:

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5 Core Asset Data Business Rules Performance Measures and Standards Geography Deficiency Criteria and Standard Design Standards Location Maintenance Standards Referencing Standard Procedures Program Categories Funding Levels Inventory Analytical Tools Analysis Parameters Inspection Unit Costs Life-Cycle Costing Needs Simulation Service Life and Benefit/Cost Analysis GIS Query and Deterioration Analysis Tools Models Traffic Heuristic Decision Database Query and Discount Rate Rules Reporting Tools Value of Time Sketch-Planning Impact Accident Costs Optimization Analysis Tools Default Average Crash Statistics Specialized Databases Risk Analysis Speeds Default Auto Network Models Occupancy Work History Decision Support Programmed Needs and Solutions Work Evaluation of Options Investment vs. Performance Trade-offs Figure 1. Context for analytical toolbox. Establish Goals, Objectives, and Performance Measures Analyze Current/Future Condition and Performance Evaluate Investment Identify Needs Evaluate and Levels and Tradeoffs and Solutions Compare Options Develop Plans and Programs Monitor Results Figure 2. Generalized asset management model.

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6 Establishing goals, objectives, and performance mea- Table 1 provides examples of different methods and asso- sures to provide policy direction and an evaluation ciated analytical tools for the three core processes shown at framework for asset management. the center of Figure 2: Evaluate Investment Levels and Analyzing current and future system condition and Tradeoffs, Identify Needs and Solutions, and Evaluate and performance on an aggregate level and at individual Compare Options. For each of these processes, different locations. methods and core analytical tools might be employed. Some Evaluating investment levels and tradeoffs to under- of the analytical support functions in Table 1 are in existing stand the relationship between funding levels for partic- systems and tools, at least for certain types of assets or ular categories of work and likely outcomes. This analy- classes of work. The needs assessment task identified areas sis may be used to guide establishment of funding levels where expanding or further integrating these capabilities for different program categories. It also can assist in would add value to asset management decision processes and establishing performance targets (for different groups of drew conclusions about which analytical support functions assets) that reflect realistic budget levels. are highest priority candidates for new or improved tools. Identifying needs and solutions. Evaluating and comparing options by assessing the potential impacts of alternative solutions to identified Review of Existing Relevant Research and Tools problems. The term "solutions" here is used in a broad sense, including specific capital projects, operational After the needs assessment, a review of existing research strategies, preventive maintenance programs, or coordi- and tools was conducted to ensure that this project would nated programs of activities (e.g., high-occupancy vehi- complement and build on the extensive base of experience cle [HOV] lanes with park-and-ride lots). and resources. The review examined work in five categories: Developing plans and programs through assembly of a coordinated set of solutions constrained by a budget. Decision-making frameworks and practices for asset This development could involve selecting projects from management and performance-based planning, the pool of recommended solutions, scheduling work to Benefit/cost analysis or multiobjective ranking tools for achieve maximum coordination and economies of scale, individual projects or strategies, and evaluating the aggregate performance impacts of Life-cycle cost analysis procedures and tools, different mixes of work. Investment analysis tools that can generate needs and Monitoring results by (1) collecting information on the work candidates based on engineering and economic cri- costs and effectiveness of projects or strategies that have teria and assist with analyzing the relationships between been implemented, with a feedback loop into the project investment levels and system performance, and evaluation activities, and (2) collecting current system Tools that can display and analyze integrated informa- performance information, which is used to analyze cur- tion across multiple management systems. rent and future performance and to revisit and refine program objectives and priorities. In each of these categories, the review included tools designed for network-level, program-level, and project-level This model allows for variations in the extent and methods analysis. by which these activities are performed. For example, one Collectively, these existing tools and research efforts pro- agency might wish to conduct separate analyses of needs, vide an extremely strong base on which to build. This research investments levels, and solutions for pavements, bridges, and endeavored to take advantage of the knowledge gained from maintenance activities and then combine them at the program these efforts to advance the state of the practice. Application development stage. A second agency might collect data on of modern software technology provides tremendous oppor- conditions and deficiencies separately but conduct integrated tunities to create a new generation of tools that are more flex- analyses across the three areas to identify and evaluate solu- ible, modular, and adaptable to different needs and environ- tions that address multiple objectives. Needs for analytical ments than those developed in the past. tools for these two cases could vary. In the first case, the emphasis would be on building solid investment and strategy analysis capabilities within pavement, bridge, and mainte- Tool Development nance management systems. In the second case, tools would be needed that would (1) support geographic information The final tools were developed in the following stages: system (GIS)based integrated analysis of deficiencies and (2) provide the capability to analyze the combined effects of 1. Conceptual design and rough development costing both capital and maintenance activities on pavements and analysis, bridges with respect to a consolidated set of performance 2. Selection of tools for further development, measures. 3. Requirements specification and detailed design,

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7 TABLE 1 Asset management methods and analytic support tools Process Methods Analytical Support Tools Evaluate Back-of-the-envelope Queries to database with average costs Investment analysis of budget level per unit of output (e.g., miles of Levels and versus output resurfacing, square feet of deck area for Tradeoffs bridge replacement) Bottom-up method: Network and sketch planning tools to identify projects within a assess impacts of multiple projects set budget limit and estimate aggregate output and performance impacts Optimization/ Tools that select an optimal set of Simulation project level projects to meet a defined budget or performance target and that report both specific projects and aggregate costs and performance impacts of the selected projects Optimization/ Tools to analyze performance versus Simulation network cost tradeoffs at an aggregated level (not level location-specific) Identify Needs and Informed engineering Database and GIS queries of condition Solutions judgment and performance Application of standards, Automated identification of deficiencies warrants, or rules of and solutions based on inventory and thumb for deficiencies inspection data and preferred solutions Database and GIS queries of deficiencies based on standards Simulation/Optimization Automated identification of deficiencies and solutions, and recommendation of preferred solution based on economic criteria or decision rules Evaluate and Informed engineering Queries of "knowledge base" on strategy Compare Options judgment costs and impacts Template to display "guesstimates" of strategy costs and impacts Life-cycle cost analysis Queries of specialized database(s) with average costs and service lives for different strategies Simulation of alternative activity profiles over time Automated calculation of equivalent uniform annual cost, net present value Benefit/cost analysis Queries of specialized database(s) with average costs and impacts for different strategies Automated calculation of strategy impacts, benefits, and costs Multiobjective ranking Automated calculation of strategy rating/ranking given set of objectives, performance measures, weights, and impacts Multiobjective impact Queries of specialized database(s) with tableau average costs and impacts for different strategies Tools to predict likely impacts of different strategies (e.g., network models, sketch-planning tools) Template to display strategy impacts for consistent set of performance measures