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23 CHAPTER 4 Data and Tools for Interstate Assets Transportation asset management is a data-driven process Specifically, characterizing measures related to mobility, safety that requires collecting, processing, storing, and retrieving and environmental performance necessarily requires data in data from a variety of sources and putting the data to use in each of these areas. investment decision making. Having sufficient, detailed data Figure 4.1, reproduced from NCHRP Report 545 (8), pro- in a usable format is critical to successful asset management vides a vision for how asset data and analytical tools support implementation, so much so that data is frequently seen as a asset management. As illustrated in the figure, analytical tools valuable asset requiring investment. Analytical tools are used utilize core asset data, together with business rules and analy- to store and track data, and use the available data to support sis parameters. These tools use techniques such as life cycle predictions of future conditions, analysis of investment need, costing, risk analysis, simulation, and optimization to pro- and other applications. duce their results, including analyses of needs and solutions, This section addresses the data and tools required to im- evaluations of different treatment options, and details on plement the Interstate Asset Management Framework. Sec- investment and performance tradeoffs. tion 4.1 provides an overview of how asset data and tools sup- The ideal system for supporting transportation asset man- port asset management. Section 4.2 describes existing data agement would be one that includes the following function- resources available for supporting management of IHS assets. ality for all assets and investment types: Section 4.3 discusses existing analytical tools. Section 4.4 presents a set of recommendations for use of data and tools Storing and retrieving condition data; to support IHS Asset Management. Section 4.5 discusses gaps Establishing goals and performance measures; in the available data and tools. Appendix A details the litera- Identifying needs; ture review performed as part of this research, and contains Predicting future conditions and service levels based on more detail on asset management data and tools. different investment scenarios and/or performance targets; Supporting development of capital and/or operating plans; and 4.1 Overview Monitoring results. Implementing an asset management approach for the IHS first requires basic data on the full set of IHS assets. Table 2.1 Such a system could be used to help support each step of lists the assets on the system, organized by roadway, struc- the asset management process. Many agencies began explor- tures, safety features, and facilities. At a minimum basic loca- ing the potential for management system integration in the tion, inventory and condition data are needed for each asset wake of the requirements for agencies to implement seven type. Additional data on potential actions and their costs are types of management systems that were included in the Inter- important for modeling asset performance. Agencies typically modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). have data for pavements and bridges, but have varying In practice, however, the ideal asset management tool does amounts of data for other assets. Although asset location, not exist. Data requirements, business rules, and analysis ap- inventory, condition, and cost data are perhaps the most proaches vary significantly between asset and investment obvious and most fundamental types of data required for types, greatly complicating any attempt to define a single sys- implementing asset management, the framework described tem for supporting the entire asset management process. Fur- in Section 2.0 establishes the need for other data as well. ther, limits on computer processing speed and memory,