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7 Balancing needs versus funding sources, account- Recommend a bridge program, implement the approved ing for dollar levels required versus available, and bridge program, and conduct or manage delivery of funding eligibility of programs and projects required bridge work. Monitor agency and transportation system perfor- mance, document accomplishments, and track prog- These management perspectives relate to each other ress toward established targets through an agency's business processes, illustrated schemat- Communicate with the governor, legislature, transpor- ically in Figure 1. These business processes comprise top- tation board or commission, other stakeholders, and down and bottom-up communications throughout the year the general public regarding agency plans, programs, in support of ongoing system management and performance projects, and accomplishments. monitoring, as well as for project selection, prioritization, and program trade-offs during the agency's budgeting cycle. Managers in the bridge unit at both central office and field Figure 1 is useful as an idealized illustration, recognizing levels (e.g., districts or regions) have responsibilities for the that actual agency practices show considerable variability public highway bridge system within the state. Within the in, for example, centralized versus decentralized decision United States, state DOTs have certain responsibilities for making, procedures and criteria for planning and program- bridges that are "on system"--that is, owned and maintained ming, the sequence of top-down and bottom-up actions in by the DOTs as part of the state highway network--and "off proposing candidate bridge projects through final program system"--that is, owned by local governments. Bridges on recommendations, and resulting demands for information at federal lands, privately owned bridges, and tribally owned various organizational levels. bridges are excluded from state responsibility. Although bridge-related interactions between a DOT and local gov- Of primary concern to this study is the information that is ernments vary by state, at a minimum it is the state DOT's transmitted from or by means of the bridge unit to the execu- responsibility to ensure the conduct of federally required tive level as part of building the agency's programs and bud- biennial inspections of local bridges as well as of state- get, as shown in Figure 1. The adequacy of this information owned structures, and report to the FHWA the results of certainly depends on ensuring that its descriptions of bridge these inspections. Refer to chapter two for additional infor- status, needs, and costs are complete, current, accurate, mation on this biennial inspection program. Within this con- and timely. Other attributes, however, are also important text, managers in a DOT's bridge organizational unit: to upper management, such as the ability to compare this information with corresponding submittals on competing Conduct and assess biennial bridge inspections of on- programs, and to understand the implications of funding all system and off-system bridges in coordination with or part of bridge needs at a level, or with a schedule, that may local governments be different from what is requested. These potential trade- Maintain and submit resulting inspection data to the offs between bridge and other programs are also indicated in FHWA, and compute and assess measures and trends Figure 1. All of these processes and information flows take of bridge condition and performance place within the context of federal and state funding avail- Identify and assess needs for work and their priorities ability, governing regulations, agency procedural require- that result from inspections and evaluations across ments, interagency coordination, and public and stakeholder several areas; for example, structural condition, func- demands on the quality and level of service of their trans- tional performance, vulnerability to seismic damage portation system. and scour, potential security concerns, fracture-critical classification, and other circumstances Prioritize bridge projects according to agency criteria, Study Objective And Focus which may include: Bridge structural condition and functional The objective of this synthesis is to document how bridge performance management--its processes, analytic tools, and informa- Other aspects of bridge health, safety, deficiency, tion--meets the needs of upper management regarding their and risk of failure planning, programming, and resource allocation decisions. National Bridge Inventory ratings (refer to chapter Although Figure 1 represents many individual functions, two) flows of information, and decision points, it is important to Funding availability and eligibility requirements realize that significant variations exist among agencies in Long-term bridge needs and a strategy for addressing how these are handled and with what information. An agen- them as identified, for example, in the agency's long- cy's management approach and culture, organizational roles term transportation plan or capital investment plan and responsibilities, and strength in information technology Design and manage bridge projects, including large, are factors in these differences, and are discussed in the syn- complex "major bridge projects" thesis findings when they have a significant influence.

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8 CEO, Senior Management Team with e.g., Planning, Programming, Financial Mgmt. Provide strategic guidance and priorities for agency function Oversee department processes Coordinate actions across agency units and disciplines Reach decisions on stratetic agency matters Monitor agency and transportation system performance Track progress against targets Communicate with governor, legislature, stakeholders, and public Communicate internally Funding and Resource Allocation Long-Range Transportation Plan Revenue Projections Needs Estimates Funding Allocations Program Investment Plans STIP Budget Impacts of Investments Tradeoff Analyses Performance Targets Bridge inspection data Recommended projects and program Benefits or impacts of Other, investment levels Context Parallel Requests for adjustments Federal, state, in funding levels or Programs: and local allocations Pavement regulations Safety Agency policies Maintenance and Operations procedures: System - e.g., long-range Improvements - planning, STIP and-Expansion development, Other Programs strategic Support Activities management, performance MPOs' Proposed Planning, programming, & monitoring Programs TIPS funding guidance Funding Performance targets Rural Planning availability and Proposed and/or Organization eligibility approved program and Inputs requirements allocations Public outreach, engagement of Central Office Bridge Unit stakeholders Conduct & assess biennial inspections of bridges & report to FHWA Compute & assess current and trend line condition & performance Interactions Identify and assess needs for bridge work under fiscal constraints with other Prioritize bridge projects as function of funding, condition, agencies performance, long-term needs, district priorities Recommend a bridge program Implement the approved program Conduct or manage the delivery of required bridge work Bridge inspection data Propose project candidates; discuss; review project prioritization and selection. Field Bridge Offices Bridge Inspections Bridge Management Tasks (vary by agency) FIGURE 1 Interactions between the bridge unit and upper-management decision makers. Note : CEO = chief executive officer; MPO = metropolitan planning organization; TIP = Transportation Improvement Program; STIP = Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.