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1 SUMMARY An Asset-Management Framework for the Interstate Highway System The objective of NCHRP Project 20-74 is to develop a practical framework for applying asset- management principles and practices to managing Interstate Highway System (IHS) investments. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the IHS to global, national, regional, and local area movements of people and goods. On a global scale, the competitiveness of the United States in international trade and the need to surmount the challenges of moving goods over long dis- tances has benefited immensely from this far-reaching network of roads that for a generation had no equal. On a national scale, the IHS has transformed the nation, enabling coast-to-coast travel and trade in a matter of days instead of weeks. On a regional level, the IHS has facilitated economic integration and accessibility within numerous multistate corridors, as evidenced by the growing number of voluntary interstate corridor coalitions of states and metropolitan areas that have sprung to life over the past 15 years. On a more local level, in literally hundreds of urbanized areas around the country, networks of beltways and radial highways serve as the sur- face transportation backbone of metropolitan regions. The NCHRP 20-74 effort is intended to supplement other work on the past and future of the IHS with tools and approaches for better managing the system in the present. Part of the challenge of managing the IHS lies in developing cost-effective investment strate- gies mutually agreed upon by agency staff and external stakeholders for managing the various assets on the system. The assets need to be managed collectively by asset type, as well as by seg- ment, by corridor, by region, and for the system in its entirety. The challenges only will grow greater as the system ages, and there are further increases in passenger and freight traffic. Transportation asset management is a developing field that provides a set of tools and techniques for managing infrastructure assets. Asset management is, at its core, a set of guiding principles and best practice methods for making informed transportation resource allocation decisions, and for improving the accountability for these decisions. Asset management principles and processes apply to all types of investments in transportation infrastructure assets. Conceptually asset management is not limited to a preservation focus, but considers the full range of potential investments, as well as factors related to safety, operations, environmental management, corridor management, and project/program delivery. In applying asset management to the HIS, one must first ask what, if anything, is unique about the IHS that demands a targeted approach. The answer to this most fundamental question is that the IHS is uniquely important because it represents the most critical set of highway assets in the United States. Keeping its portion of the IHS in operation is a critical concern for every IHS owner, and asset management promises an approach for helping accomplish this objective. Apply- ing asset management to IHS assets is not an objective unto itself, but a means for achieving a larger, national goal, that of helping keep the IHS network in operation using the most effective means. This objective is in one respect very targeted, in that it applies to a single portion of the U.S. transportation network. In another respect, the objective is quite broad, as it implies

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2 consideration of the full range of factors that might impact operation of the IHS, and introduces the concept of a national interest in IHS asset performance. This approach provides a consistent asset management framework and, therefore performance expectations for the IHS, by leverag- ing existing agency-to-agency institutions and relationships in managing the connection points of the system. The basic strategy recommended for integrating decision making for IHS assets with the broader decision-making scope is for each IHS owner to develop an Interstate Asset Management Plan on a periodic basis. The plan should summarize conditions of IHS assets, establish performance measures for those assets considering available funds, and describe the plan for future invest- ments in the IHS. The plan, once developed, will help support the agency's ongoing resource allocation process for its IHS network across investment categories and decision-making horizons. It also should provide consistent information about the system that can be shared among the many agencies managing the network. A recommended outline for an Interstate Asset Management Plan is presented in Chapter 2. Previous work on transportation asset management is readily transferable to the present study, but developing an asset management framework tailored to the IHS requires extending previous work on transportation asset management, focusing on selected areas. These include: Defining how to better incorporate assessment of the risks of system failure into an asset management framework. Chapter 3 recommends a risk management approach for the IHS. Providing guidance for handling all IHS assets, particularly assets besides pavements and bridges. Chapter 4 details available data and tools for IHS assets and provides guidance for what data to collect and analyses to perform for the full set of IHS assets. Recommending a set of measures tailored for use in reporting and facilitating discussion of IHS performance both within an agency, to system users, industry partners, regionally, and nationally. Chapter 5 details the recommended approach to performance management for IHS assets and includes recommendations on what performance measures to include in an Interstate Asset Management Plan. Chapter 6 of this report provides guidance on implementing an asset management approach for the IHS. The approach to implementing asset management will depend up the basic motiva- tion for implementation, the focus area of the effort, the approach taken to leading the effort, and the set of internal and external stakeholders involved in implementation. An Interstate Asset Management Framework may focus on areas that vary according to function (preservation, mobility, safety, and environment), or level within the organization (policy level issues, program and project prioritization issues, management and operational issues), or any combination of these. Each and every agency and entity responsible for a portion of the IHS must reach its own conclusions, for its own reasons, on whether and how to undertake all or parts of the Interstate Asset Management Framework. Motivating factors will vary, as will areas of emphasis, specific approaches, sources of leadership, background expertise, and organizational characteristics. What does not vary is the simple fact that the potential consequences of deterioration or disruption to the nation's most important arteries will be severe in terms of impacts upon the economic well being and quality of lives of our citizens. By taking advantage of best practices in asset management and risk management, system owners and operators can most effectively identify and combat the effects of deteriorating infrastructure, minimize costly system disruptions, and ensure that our national highway system continues to serve as an engine for helping drive our economy forward.