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7 Policy Goals and Objectives Funding Levels Establish goals and objectives for IHS assets Select the performance measures Customer Input Set performance targets Customer expectations Response to program Analysis of Options and Tradeoffs implementation Use analytical tools to analyze the impact of different funding levels on system performance Incorporate risk assessment results Consider tradeoffs between preservation, mobility, safety, environment, and other areas Resource Allocation Decisions Determine strategy for developing programs and prioritizing projects Define the role of the stakeholders in the resource allocation process Finalize budget allocations Program and Service Delivery Evaluate delivery alternatives Keep all stakeholders updated on delivery status System Conditions and Service Levels Monitor and report performance results Collect and manage data for accountability and feedback Figure 2.2. Generic asset management process with issues of importance for the IHS. that can populate fundable programs to renew and extend ditions and service levels, as indicated in the final step of the asset life. The next step is to determine how to allocate resources figure. Because asset management is data-driven, the process based on this information, in a manner consistent with an is designed assuming that data collected in this step are inputs agency's policy goals and objectives and the external stake- to every other step in the process. holders understanding of the potential implications of these The asset management principles and process described allocation strategies. apply to all types of investments in transportation infrastruc- ture assets. Conceptually asset management is not limited to Program and Service Delivery. The focus shifts to deliv- a preservation focus, but considers the full range of potential ery once resource allocation decisions have been made. There investments, as well as factors related to safety, operations, are a number of key issues an agency must consider in this environmental management, corridor management, and area, including determining the best approach to delivering project/program delivery. the program, managing work zones, and communicating the status of the program to industry partners and the public, to 2.2 Applying Asset Management provide transparency into an agency's processes and convey to the IHS important information about ongoing or upcoming con- struction work that may impact travel decisions. The basic transportation asset management principles and process described in this report and detailed in the AASHTO System Conditions and Service Levels. In conjunction Guide are wholly applicable to IHS infrastructure assets. with program delivery, an agency monitors the system con- The asset management framework for the IHS necessarily

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8 encompasses and builds upon the concepts in the AASHTO agency policy goals and objectives, and that help achieve Guide. However, in applying asset management to the IHS those goals and objectives in a more cost-effective manner. one must first ask what, if anything, is unique about the IHS There is a significant amount of evidence in other industries that demands a targeted approach. that a performance-based approach helps improve per- The answer to this most fundamental question is that the formance, and an abundance of anecdotal evidence con- IHS is uniquely important because it represents the most cerning agency successes in applying asset management critical set of highway assets in the United States. Keeping principles. Nonetheless, the focus on asset management is its portion of the IHS in operation is a critical concern for still a relatively new phenomenon, and must be treated with every IHS owner, and asset management promises an ap- the assertion that it is of benefit as an assumption until suf- proach for helping accomplish this objective. This answer is ficient evidence mounts to prove or disprove it. based on the following key assumptions: Based on the preceding assumptions, applying asset manage- The IHS typically represents the highest priority network ment to IHS assets is not an objective unto itself, but a means for a transportation agency. High priority can be defined for achieving a larger, national goal, that of helping keep the IHS in a number of ways, but by any definition of the term, the network in operation using the most effective means. This IHS is clearly the highway network with the highest priority objective is in one respect very targeted, in that it applies to a at the national level. For any given transportation agency, single portion of the U.S. transportation network. In another their portion of the IHS is likely a reasonable approximation respect, the objective is quite broad, as it implies consideration of their highest priority network. However, it may be that of the full range of factors that might impact operation of the there are additional highway sections not classified as inter- IHS, and introduces the concept of a national interest in IHS states that are critical from a regional or statewide perspec- asset performance. This approach provides a consistent asset tive (e.g., nonredundant portions of the network, evacuation management framework and performance expectations for the routes, and/or other high traffic sections). By the same token IHS by leveraging existing agency-to-agency institutions and there may be some highway segments, though classified as relationships in managing the connection points of the system. interstates, which do not carry the same level traffic or pro- Figure 2.3 presents a perspective concerning how IHS asset vide the same degree of connectivity as other segments off management decisions relate to the larger resource allocation of the IHS. Thus, the concepts described in this report process. It is intended to put decisions concerning IHS assets should properly be considered as applying to a transporta- into a practical context. As indicated in the figure, agencies tion agency's "highest priority network," with the under- typically make a distinction between modes (e.g., highway, standing that this network largely consists of, but may not transit, rail, ports, aviation) in their resource allocation process. be identical to, an agency's portion of the IHS. Within the highway mode, an agency must make decisions Keeping its highest priority network in operation is of fun- across network classifications. Network classifications vary damental concern for any transportation agency. With the from one agency to another, but frequently include the IHS IHS largely complete, and the corresponding shift in focus (and/or other high-priority network links), the National High- of U.S. highway owners from building the network to de- way System (NHS), and other classifications. Within a net- livering transportation as a service, the immediate challenge work classification an agency must determine how to allocate transportation agencies face is keeping their most critical resources to obtain the best performance and lowest risk assets in operation. The concern for keeping the network in (greatest reduction in risk) across all asset types, recognizing operation is reflected in the emphasis on Intelligent Trans- any relevant legislative direction or other constraints. The fig- portation Systems (ITS) and Vehicle Infrastructure Integra- ure depicts this relationship within the IHS network, but the tion (VII) aimed at using technology to improve network network can be further subdivided by corridor. operations and safety. Also, this focus is readily apparent in In practice the lines between decisions concerning IHS assets areas such as snow and ice removal in cold-weather cli- and other assets are not so sharply delineated as depicted in the mates. But keeping the network in operation is more than figure. Investments in IHS assets must be balanced with invest- a day-to-day challenge; it is a long-term concern that ments in other parts of the network. Also, there are legitimate should be reflected in project development, capital budget- reasons for establishing policies and evaluating performance for ing, long-term planning, and other processes. selected asset types across networks. Further, the dimension of Asset management helps an agency keep its network in op- time is not illustrated in the figure, though certainly relevant. eration by improving decision making based on data that Practically speaking, certain decisions, such as those concerning provides a quantitative overview of the performance of the capacity expansion projects, are the product of a long-term system. That is, transportation asset management helps an planning process. Other capital budgeting decisions are made agency make decisions that are better targeted to achieve on a year-to-year basis, while maintenance and operations