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46 contracts is built upon risk/reward models, and so risk assess- tion of the adverse impacts. There is nothing like a catastrophic ment and risk management are ingrained in their processes (a event to drive change, but the inescapable question is that unique example is the mitigation of the difficult-to-predict risks if certain actions make sense to reduce the likelihood and of ice and snow through the purchase of specialized insurance impacts of a recurrence, then inevitably the question will be packages.) It is testimony to the effectiveness of asset manage- raised about why weren't these same actions implemented ear- ment for Interstate-type highways to observe how investment lier. IHS owners and key stakeholders may wish to ponder in decisions by the private sector are driven by their finely tuned advance of such catastrophic events: 1) what the risks of worst management systems and models that track current condition case scenarios may be in terms of major disruption in service; and rates of asset deterioration and that indicate on the basis of and 2) what actions in the aftermath are they likely to be traffic forecasts and other information optimal schedules for implementing that would have made just as much, if not preventive maintenance and repair activities. more, sense to implement as a preventive or mitigating mea- The same tools are available to public agencies seeking to sure before an event ever occurred. optimize the efficient and effective use of their most important highway assets. 6.2 Primary Focus of Implementation Stakeholder Driven Just as the motivation for implementing a differentiated While owning agencies are the most likely to lead the imple- IHS asset management approach will vary, so will there be mentation of an IHS asset management approach, leaders and variations in the primary areas of interest. An Interstate Asset staff of these agencies need little to remind them that the most Management Framework may focus on areas that vary accord- significant highway routes on their network are also the most ing to function (preservation, mobility, safety, and environ- significant routes in a local transportation context as well. ment), or level within the organization (policy level issues, Many regional and local entities, such as MPOs, local govern- program and project prioritization issues, management and ments, and other state and Federal agencies, are likely to have operational issues), or any combination of these. For exam- strong, vested interest in the continuing operational integrity ple, an IHS-owning transportation agency may focus on of the IHS and other key NHS routes considered part of an system preservation at the program and project levels while agency's "highest priority network." The same will be true of focusing on levels of service and mobility issues at the pol- the private sector, including major companies and regional icy level. industries that ship goods as well as individual citizens whose ability to earn a living and the very quality of their lives depend Policy and Strategic Focus upon continuous access to a viable system of interstate and other major highways. An Interstate Asset Management Framework can focus on It is not uncommon for incident management programs a variety of policy level and strategically important issues con- and traffic management centers serving major IHS routes in fronting agency and political decision makers, including (as metropolitan areas to emanate from, or even be sponsored examples): by and managed with, local resources. Certainly the ability of emergency response entities--police, fire, ambulance, envi- · Network coverage--are key geographic regions and major ronmental hazard teams, and, under certain circumstances, the transportation corridors adequately served with IHS access military to use the IHS to reach the locations requiring their and capacity? urgent attention, including locations on the system itself-- · Is there sufficient network resilience and redundancy to earn them standing as significant stakeholders whose interests facilitate the management of potential major disruptions? may provide a key impetus for establishing an Interstate Asset · Should the investment in people and processes be made to Management Framework. identify potentially significant risks to IHS highways and to manage those risks by formulating strategies aimed at reducing the likelihood of their occurring and mitigating Event Driven impacts if they do occur? This is the least desirable but not necessarily the most · Is there an adequate "operations" mentality that drives the uncommon driver of implementing changes such as a risk- agency's inclination and ability to deal with both recurring based Interstate Asset Management Framework. In the after- congestion and nonrecurring incidents? math of a major disruption, much attention is focused on · Are relationships, resources, and training in place to ensure whether and how it could have been avoided, and what mea- adequate response to various contingencies in various sures could have been taken to reduce the magnitude and dura- locations along the IHS and comparable NHS corridors?
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47 · How adequate are current investment levels and strate- While some agencies have extended such operational ser- gies, and are the unique requirements inherent in the IHS vices to surface streets, the overwhelming emphasis has been being addressed with current resource allocation processes, on controlled access highways such as the IHS. Key issues to including transportation improvement plans, annual budg- address with an IHS asset management system include the level ets, and other funding structures and mechanisms? of investment in operations versus capital improvements and · To what extent should a differentiated Interstate Asset Man- maintenance, the distribution of investments among opera- agement Framework extend beyond policy considerations tional service categories, and the benefits gained in terms of and into program and project level priority setting as well as improved reliability and safety. operational management? Work Category Focus Program and Project Prioritization Focus An Interstate Asset Management Framework may empha- The primary focus of an Interstate Asset Management size different work categories (such as preservation, mobility, Framework may address issues relating to IHS programs and safety, environment) depending upon the unique needs and project prioritization, including: motivations of the agency. As the premier highway network, IHS corridors may be confronted by a variety of risks in each · Should separate funding be allocated for IHS capital and of these areas that can threaten their viability in meeting crit- operating budgets as opposed to having IHS projects com- ically important transportation needs in ways different from pete with projects on lower order systems? the rest of the highway network, including: · Should performance targets for IHS be differentiated from · Preservation--Examples include structural adequacy of non-IHS facilities? · bridges and pavements to handle the higher magnitude and Should performance targets be differentiated among IHS frequency of loads typically carried on interstate highways, routes based upon their relative role or importance (func- as well as visibility and reflectivity of pavements and mark- tional criticality) in serving local area, state-level, or national ings under varying weather and lighting conditions essen- needs? tial to routes carrying significant levels of nonlocal traffic, · Should national priorities that may not represent state or and the physical condition of rest area facilities important local priorities be addressed and, if so, how? to long distance through corridors. · Is there a need for more and better data for IHS assets than · Mobility--The IHS was conceived and completed to are currently available to determine performance targets serve mobility goals on a national as well as a regional scale. and levels? Mobility performance measures include levels of service, travel time, and operational dependability during recurring Operational Management Focus peak period loadings as well as for nonrecurring incidents that occur at any time, such as crashes, hazardous material There is a rapidly growing recognition among highway spills, and special events. agencies and stakeholders of the need to pay significant atten- · Safety--While the IHS and similarly designed and built tion to the allocation of resources for operational management highways on the NHS are clearly the safest, especially when (beyond capital investments and physical maintenance), par- compared with surface arterial streets and highways lacking ticularly on higher order systems such as the IHS. After a controlled access, the combination of high speed and vari- century or more in which most state highway agencies have able speeds, along with the mix of trucks, buses, passenger focused their attention and resources on capital investments cars, and motorcycles affects not only the frequency but the and maintenance of the roadway networks under their juris- severity of crashes as well. So while risks may be lower, the diction, there is a clear trend emerging in the direction of real- potential adverse consequences can be greater on these high time operational management, involving: order systems. · Environment--IHS routes are typically the largest in scale · Surveillance of traffic conditions; and can have the most severe impacts on the natural, built · Rapid response and clearing of incidents; and cultural environments when it comes to noise, wildlife, · Traveler's information; vegetation, water quality and quantity, communities, open · Electronic toll collection; spaces, and historic resources. Environmental issues are · Ramp metering; often beyond the normal sphere of transportation asset · Preclearance of trucks; and management, but particularly in the case of an IHS-oriented · Work zone safety. framework, participants in this research project felt strongly