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11 Track 1: Analyzing and Optimizing Investment Decisions Investment Trade-Offs: Rapid-Fire Session In this rapid-fire session, which was moderated by Scott Richrath (Atkins), participants made short demonstrations and presentations designed to stimulate discussion and thought exchange about investment trade-off decisions. Participants were encouraged to interact with presenters during the conference to get more detail. Because of the nature of this session, no key takeaways were identified. THINKING AHEAD: A FORWARD-LOOKING APPROACH TO CROSS-ASSET TRADE-OFF Prashant Ram (Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.) introduced a forward-looking approach to cross-asset trade-offs that considers the whole life of an asset, innovative performance measures, and a multiyear, multistrategy analysis. He indicated that a whole-life analysis should consider long analysis periods and look at various treatments aimed at lowering whole-life costs. Performance measures should be actionable and should be useful for setting targets. They should also be easy to implement. The analysis should help an agency decide whether they are making the right long-term decisions and whether the plan is financially sustainable. Ram also stressed the importance of visualization to help communicate results. CROSS-ASSET OPTIMIZATION SYSTEM FOR LONG-RANGE INVESTMENT PLANNING OF HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE ASSETS Mahmoud Halfawy (Infrastructure Data Solutions, Inc.) discussed a tool to help agencies balance investments across different asset systems. This asset optimizer considers specific performance measures for each asset type for project selection decisions that consider risk and life-cycle costs. It goes through a two-step process: first, a strategy is developed for each asset class, and then the mix of projects is analyzed across asset classes. The mix of projects that achieves the best target at the lowest cost is recommended. AN OPTIMIZATION MODEL TO DETERMINE CRITICAL BUDGETS FOR MANAGING PAVEMENT AND SAFETY Promothes Saha (University of Wyoming) discussed both pavement and traffic safety management systems that focus on low-volume roads. In the tool, crash data and pavement condition data are combined. The pavement management system helps agencies realize that preventive maintenance is more cost-effective than rehabilitation, and the safety
12 management system demonstrates that countermeasures with higher crash-reduction factors and lower costs are the most cost-effective. The outputs include recommended treatments that fit within a constrained budget. CROSS-ASSET NETWORK-LEVEL INVESTMENT TRADE-OFF ANALYSIS TOOL Eddie Chou (University of Toledo) has developed several tools for the Ohio DOT, including a pavement and bridge deterioration forecasting tool that uses a probabilistic modeling approach. He is currently working on a network-level investment trade-off tool that will help maximize network conditions with an available budget. VALUE-BASED CROSS-ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION ASSETS Susan Tighe (University of Waterloo) discussed a cross-asset management tool that considers an asset value index as the common indicator. For each maintenance activity, the return on investment is generated and used to prioritize recommended projects. INCREASING YOUR VALUE THROUGH PRIORITIZATION AND PROJECT SELECTION THAT YIELDS PERFORMANCE Dan Pitzler (Jacobs) introduced a multiobjective decision analysis approach that supports an agencyâs project selection process by aligning it with agency goals. Pitzler stressed the importance of leadership commitment to the success of this process. The tool Pitzler demonstrated can be used for multiple applications, and he shared that it is currently being used by both the New Mexico and Colorado DOTs. State DOTs that have used the tool have indicated that it helps create collaboration, is data-driven, and helps the agency better track performance and investments through a robust trade-off analysis that improves both accountability and transparency. SEATTLE DOT: ALIGNING PERFORMANCE RESULTS WITH MISSION, VISION, AND GOALS Terry Martin (Seattle DOT) introduced the DOTâs Moving the Needle report,1 which presents goals, outcomes, and metrics in several areas. The Seattle DOT currently tracks and reports 96 different types of performance measures. Martin showed how some of the measures illustrate how interconnected the city is (e.g., travel accessibility is increased by having the walk to a bus being no more than 10 minutes). He also said customer satisfaction surveys are sent out to help the city learn more about what is important to its customers. The survey results also provide feedback for continuous improvement. 1 Seattle Department of Transportation. 2017. Moving the Needle: 2017 Performance Report. Seattle, Wash. http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2017/10/10/check-it-out-sdot-releases-new-performance-report/.
13 HOW TO MODEL DEDICATED FUNDING STREAMS AND ASSET ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS IN FTAâS TERM LITE TOOL Nicholas Richter (WSP) discussed the use of FTAâs TERM Lite tool for transit asset management. The tool produces 30-year capital needs projections based on an agencyâs asset inventory and predicts asset performance on the basis of available funding. Richter highlighted several features of the new version of the program, including a scenario manager function that tracks asset eligibility within funding buckets. UTILIZATION OF STRATEGIC ASSET MANAGEMENT TO ASSIST IN THE ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES ACROSS MULTIPLE TRANSPORTATION ASSET CLASSES Joshua Johnson (Bentley Systems) introduced several decision support tools for TAMPs, including a tool that integrates an assetâs life cycle and an information exchange in a central hub. He also discussed a strategic asset management tool that extracts data from multiple sources and allows assets to be edited geospatially through the software. INTEGRATING RISK TOLERANCE AND LIFE-CYCLE COST ANALYSIS INTO THE DEVELOPMENT OF TAM INVESTMENT STRATEGIES Richard Boadi (Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.) discussed a case study of two pavement categories that looked at the impact of performance on risk and asset life-cycle costs. The approach showed promise, but there are challenges in terms of the capabilities of existing tools and stakeholder resistance to change. Future considerations of this approach will explore different cost variables and risk measures. Connecting Research to Application This session, moderated by Rob Kafalenos (FHWA), focused on finding new ways to improve asset optimization in the future and how outside constraints, such as politics and new policies, can change how agencies optimize for maintenance. The presentations ranged from thinking about the way assets are managed to looking at more efficient ways to optimize and treat pavement assets. Discussions addressed how to better educate the public on TAMPs and how to address fear of change. HIGHWAY CORRIDORS OF THE FUTURE: WHAT EVERY ASSET MANAGER NEEDS TO KNOW Gareth McKay (WSP) introduced safety and reliability as the two most common priorities in state DOTs. However, changes are being introduced through technology and other advancements that are forcing agencies to begin thinking about how assets will need to be changed to adapt to new transportation practices. To illustrate the point, McKay asked participants to consider whether autonomous vehicles will need different types of signs, lighting, safety systems, and noise walls. He further challenged participants to think about
14 whether machines read signs differently than humans, whether lighting could be reduced, and whether safety systems can be modified with reductions in human errors. He stressed the importance of considering these types of anticipated changes in standards, policies, and future goals. INFLUENCE OF COST AND DETERIORATION UNCERTAINTIES ON MAINTENANCE, REHABILITATION, AND RECONSTRUCTION ALLOCATION DECISIONS IN PAVEMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Fengdi Guo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) addressed uncertainties that are inherent in pavement management systems, including uncertainties in the rate of pavement deterioration and treatment costs. In a study, Guo compared the benefitâcost ratio of several treatment options against a probabilistic treatment path dependence (PTPD). He presented a case study illustrating how PTPD incorporates uncertainties to improve predictions to help optimize the use of available funding. MAXIMIZING INVESTMENT EFFICIENCY IN MUNICIPAL PAVEMENT PRESERVATION PROGRAMS Roozbeh Rashedi (Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.) recognized that in many of the municipalities that he had worked with, there was a lack of effective analytical tools based in solid engineering principles. To overcome this gap, Rashedi conducted a beta test using a simple analysis tool that supported the use of pavement preservation programs in small municipalities. The pilot program showed that optimizing the use of funds through pavement preservation reduced costs by 7% to 17%. The results were packaged in a way that enabled municipalities to better communicate with stakeholders. A PLAN FOR EVERY SECTION OF EVERY ROAD OF EVERY ISLAND Goro Sulijoadikusumo (Hawaii DOT) discussed an initiative undertaken by the Hawaii DOT to make better decisions using existing data. The DOT developed an information system for managing its entire highway infrastructure and supported it with lidar to build its inventory and laser crack measuring system to collect pavement information. The agency implemented a preservation-first strategy and put in place a 5-year preservation plan. During this process, the agency learned that it is important to make these practices part of the culture, that it is important to keep the process from getting too complex, and that decisions should be transparent, maintainable, and repeatable. The Hawaii DOT expects to implement pavement management software soon with improved analytical capabilities. KEY TAKEAWAYS â¢ TAM practices are constantly evolving, with changes in technology and how assets are used and defined. For example, agencies will need to adapt assets to meet the needs associated with autonomous vehicles.
15 â¢ Many new tools are emerging that will help agencies prioritize and manage assets, from new prioritization models to less-complicated systems with shorter processing times. â¢ Several presenters acknowledged their interest in using TAM and TPM principles to meet agency goals, not just address asset conditions. â¢ There are challenges associated with changing an organizationâs culture, accepting new tools, and thinking outside the box to address funding shortfalls. Tools that Drive Asset Investment Decision-Making In this round-robin session moderated by Ted Hull-Ryde (Atkins), attendees rotated among the presenters to engage in discussions and information exchanges. Because of the nature of the session, no key takeaways were identified. INTEGRATING EXTREME WEATHER RISK INTO ASSET MANAGEMENT AT THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE Cassandra Bhat (ICF) discussed the two-way relationship between risk and asset management. She said that asset management informs risk assessment and risk assessment informs asset management. In a project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, exposure (e.g., geospatial hazards), sensitivity (e.g., remaining service life), and adaptive capacity (e.g., historic status) were considered to determine vulnerability to climate change. The tool presents information in a geospatial format and summarizes information in a way that determines investment priorities. USING ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT TO INCREASE RESILIENCE Brenda Dix (ICF) discussed the need for agencies to have a structured approach to managing climate risks over time and suggested that pairing adaptive management and asset management is a cost-effective way to ensure resilience given an uncertain future. She discussed the commonalities between asset and adaptive management, including the focus on addressing current issues while preparing for the future and minimizing life-cycle costs. Adaptive management provides agencies with an approach to managing evolving risks under uncertainty. Dix then illustrated how adaptive management applies to climate change uncertainty to reduce up-front capital costs, minimize life-cycle costs, define adaptation triggers, and incorporate adaptation planning into asset management. INTEGRATING RISK ASSESSMENT INTO THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS WITHIN ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Nima Kargah-Ostadi (Fugro USA Land, Inc.) illustrated a process for considering risks in decision-making processes. He illustrated the process for assessing the risk that an agency will not achieve its pavement-related targets, taking into account variability in condition data, uncertainty in models, and variability in treatment costs. The analysis used a Monte
16 Carlo simulation, and a sensitivity analysis was conducted to look at the significance of each source of variability. Candidate solutions for mitigating risks were evaluated by using a weighted priority score based on the benefitâcost ratio associated with each treatment. Kargah-Ostadi closed with a discussion of how these results can be integrated into asset management decisions. PRACTICAL USES OF RISK-BASED PRIORITIZATION FOR TRANSIT STATE-OF-GOOD-REPAIR INVESTMENTS Emily Grenzke (KimleyâHorn and Associates) reviewed guidance and standards available on asset management and risk management and presented a practical approach to embedding risk rankings into a condition database and to using risk-based prioritization criteria in long-term project selection processes. For the long-term example, she used the FTAâs TERM Lite software and illustrated how it can be modified to support risk-based prioritization scoring. Using a case study from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, she was able to produce risk profiles displaying 10-year state-of-good-repair needs that illustrated which tunnels had the highest likelihood of failure due to ongoing water intrusion; however, rail revenue vehicles had the highest consequence of failure. SPREADSHEET TOOLS FOR ANALYSIS OF TRANSIT ASSET INVESTMENT NEEDS AND QUALITY OF SERVICE IMPACTS William Robert (Spy Pond Partners, LLC) reviewed three different transit investment tools: a transit asset prioritization tool, an effective journey time calculator, and a state-of-good-repair return-on-investment calculator that is under development. The transit asset prioritization tool is a spreadsheet tool that was developed under two Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) projects. It includes asset life-cycle models, a prioritization process, and performance summaries and is now supplemented by a web site external to the TCRP project. The journey time calculator is a set of two spreadsheet tools for relating transit asset conditions to service quality that are detailed in TCRP Research Report 198.2 The state-of-good-repair return-on-investment calculator is currently under development through TCRP Project E-12. It will include guidance development, the return-on-investment calculator tool, and pilot studies. CONSIDERING SOCIOECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA ON PAVED ROAD NETWORK INVESTMENTS: THE CASE OF COSTA RICAâS NATIONAL ROAD NETWORK JosÃ© David RodrÃguez (University of Costa Rica) provided background information on Costa Ricaâs national paved road network, including the fact that it has traditionally been managed with a worst-first approach. The Costa Rica Road Authority does not have 2 Spy Pond Partners, LLC; AECOM; McCollom Management Consulting, Inc.; H. Cohen; and S. Silkunas. 2018. TCRP Research Report 198: The Relationship Between Transit Asset Condition and Service Quality. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board. http://www.trb.org/TCRP/Blurbs/177448.aspx.
17 forecasting tools available and investments rely on individual efforts to advance a project. The lab from the University of Costa Rica (LanammeUCR) conducted a research project to consider social and economic competitiveness and environmental costs in evaluating pavement investment options. The research found that the relationship between social and economic indices as prioritization criteria generates outcomes similar to pavement condition indices. The study also found that a comprehensive approach is needed to get close to the national goal for carbon neutrality. Finally, the study suggested that institutional aspects and political support are fundamental next steps to undertake action on pavement management in Costa Rica. Investment Resources for Asset Managers This session was well attended, with approximately half the audience representing highway and transit organizations and half representing private-sector participants. The session introduced ideas to help agencies guide their investment decisions. It was moderated by Tom Wesp (Data Transfer Solutions LLC). DETERMINING THE VALUE OF INFORMATION IN ASSET MANAGEMENT DECISIONS David Luhr (Washington State DOT) discussed the Washington State DOTâs process for determining the value of information in making asset management decisions, which was driven by proposed budget cuts the agency was facing. He showed a decision matrix illustrating the variability between age-based decisions and condition-based evaluations and discussed the elements that contribute to the variability between the two approaches. He showed that the use of a condition-based evaluation enables an agency to save a significant amount of money. As a result, the Washington State DOT concluded that good condition information has a significant value with a 13 to 1 return over poor information. He suggested that striving toward having good condition data available is a smart investment for agencies. A PRACTICAL FRAMEWORK FOR MANAGING ALL TRANSPORTATION ASSETS Shobna Varma (StarIsis Corporation) introduced a five-tier approach to managing assets, with Tier 1 being the most rigorous, with a very detailed inventory and condition assessments, and Tier 5 being the simplest, with a focus on asset replacement at failure. She suggested that the targeted management strategy often has to do with how critical the asset is to the organization. Therefore, she pointed out, it may not be necessary to have a complex approach to managing assets for some asset classes. IOWA DOT PROJECT SCOPING AND PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Brad Hofer (Iowa DOT) demonstrated a geospatial approach that the Iowa DOT is using to monitor the status of projects in the development process. Using color coding and drill-
18 down features, DOT staff can obtain photos, environmental impact reports, right-of-way impacts, and other types of information about a project. The tool is still under development, and the Iowa DOT has created a plan for further developments of the tool to increase its applicability throughout the agency. KEY TAKEAWAYS â¢ Several tools are being developed that could be applicable to multiple agencies. Agencies with gaps in a particular area could benefit from tools and processes being used in other agencies. â¢ Information systems and management systems have both value and cost. Therefore, they should be evaluated before they are implemented. Optimizing Investments A standing-room-only crowd listened to four presentations from speakers encouraging strategies to optimize asset investments. The session was moderated by Scott Richrath (Atkins). TRANSLINKâS ENTERPRISE ASSET MANAGEMENT JOURNEY: FACTORS OF SUCCESS AND LESSONS LEARNED Vikki Kwan (TransLink) reported that TransLink began its enterprise management activities in August 2015. Prior to that, the Capital Asset Prioritization Investment Tool for Advanced Lifecycle Management (Capital-M) had been used to proactively manage its assets. With the asset management program, the focus shifted to using data to clarify investment needs with a 10-year outlook that considers criticality and other factors. TransLink now has an asset renewal program in place for nine of its 31 asset classes and a decision-support framework that is supported with asset management software. There is good buy-in from leadership, which has contributed to TransLinkâs success. USING DATA TO MAKE BETTER INVESTMENT DECISIONS: A REVIEW OF THE NY MTAâS 35-YEAR HISTORY OF $118 BILLION WORTH OF INVESTMENT TO RESTORE AND IMPROVE ITS SYSTEM Stephen Berrang (New York MTA Headquarters) and Mildred Chua (New York MTA Bridges and Tunnels) shared their experiences with using data to improve asset decisions. The New York MTA has an asset inventory valued at more than $1 trillion dollars. In the past, system performance had been bad, with derailments, crime, and other issues. Requirements to develop 5-year capital plans, which support the agencyâs 20-year planning process, helped the agency turn things around. It now has a 5-year plan that maintains assets through sustainable goals, and service has improved considerably.
19 Chua focused her presentation on the need to integrate resilience into agency practices and design standards. For the New York MTA, this realization was sparked by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The agencyâs goal is to include capital, major maintenance, and preservation as well as routine and emergency repairs in an asset management plan that supports its facility master plan for each bridge and tunnel. The capital program considers both performance and resilience needs in a blended approach for making wise investment decisions. LIFE-CYCLE PLANNING: WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT CAN BE USED Katie Zimmerman (Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.) presented a network-level approach to life-cycle planning (LCP), which is required in state DOT TAMPs. She introduced a five-step process for conducting LCP based on guidance issued by FHWA and suggested strategies for considering vulnerability (such as coastal and inland bridges) in the process. Zimmerman indicated that the LCP results can be used to set targets, build support for better long-term strategies, and use funds wisely. METHODOLOGY TO ENABLE FULL TAM PLAN IMPLEMENTATION Paul Thompson (Consultant) introduced a cross-asset analysis methodology that is being developed under an FHWA research project. He indicated that the methodology will be piloted in at least one agency and that one of the challenges being faced is that current pavement management systems typically evaluate treatment options individually rather than as a life-cycle strategy. Bridge management systems do a better job of considering life-cycle strategies. Thompson reported that the study will identify changes that are needed to existing analysis tools to better support the type of cross-asset methodology being developed under this study. He suggested that future tools could improve their ability to model social benefit and show the impact of different treatments in terms of both structure and social, environmental, and safety impacts. He also provided information for any state DOT interested in being considered as a pilot agency. KEY TAKEAWAYS â¢ Evolution of TAM: Transit providers and state DOTs are progressing with regard to how to do LCP and asset management overall. Tools are improving to help them, and presenters expect the next generation of tools to help answer more questions. However, the tools are not expected to replace staff analysis and interpretation of the results. â¢ Sustainability of TAM: The sustainability of TAM programs is embedded in organizational culture; it may take time, but mainstreaming TAM practices across relevant parts of an agency is key to success. â¢ Influence of technology on decisions: Technology is getting better, but more work is needed to improve management systems to support answering more questions. â¢ How data are used to communicate with multiple audiences: Data are key to winning over stakeholdersâparticularly managementâto fund the right investment priorities. Both the first and second presentations in this session illustrated that point well.
20 Discussion Session: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Implementation A small number of conference participants (approximately 15) participated in this discussion session. They addressed discussion questions prepared by Sue McNeil (University of Delaware), who served as the moderator. The questions and the responses are provided below. WHAT ARE FACTORS PREVENTING RESEARCHERS AND CONTRACTORS FROM MEETING THE NEEDS OF PRACTITIONERS? â¢ The procurement process. â¢ Agencies are hesitant to try something new or better without another state doing it. Once one state does it, others follow. â¢ There is not a good understanding of what owners really need. Once needs are better understood, a process for conducting the research can be better developed. â¢ There is more of a trend to emphasize implementation as part of ongoing research efforts. Several states require an implementation plan up front. â¢ There needs to be a better understanding of basic research versus applied research. â¢ It would be helpful to have more multidisciplinary teams working together to address a problem. WHAT STEPS COULD BE TAKEN TO BETTER ALIGN RESEARCHERSâ WORK AND PRODUCTS PROVIDED BY CONTRACTORS WITH THE NEEDS OF PRACTITIONERS? â¢ Recognize that there are different types of research projects. Some address known gaps while others address improved ways of doing business. The second are often harder to implement, because an agency has to recognize the advantages to the change. â¢ Get products reviewed by intended users and get transparent feedback. â¢ Have a champion willing to take the initiative. â¢ From a researcherâs perspective, look into how to better present the findings. â¢ Look into which research outcomes were implemented and why that happened. â¢ For each research effort, figure out what is really wanted from the study. It is also important to be able to change the research scope if necessary on the basis of preliminary findings. â¢ Make technology transfer approaches more practical. Participants did not feel 800-page documents were particularly helpful for promoting implementation. WHAT DO PRACTITIONERS NEED TO BETTER USE RESEARCH RESULTS TO ADDRESS EXTREME WEATHER RESILIENCE IN THEIR ASSET MANAGEMENT PLANS? â¢ Mandates that require agencies to address these issues are needed. â¢ FHWAâs role is to encourage and help states. Pilot programs are very helpful because they result in best practices that other agencies can use.
21 â¢ It is important to create demand in some way and make people more aware of the issues. HOW CAN PRACTITIONERS BETTER EVALUATE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO THEM TO DETERMINE WHETHER PRODUCTS OR TOOLS WILL MEET THEIR NEEDS? â¢ Demonstrations of new technology often lead to implementation and then standardization. It is helpful to have a plan for this transition. â¢ Regional face-to-face meetings after a research project ends can help drive the implementation process. â¢ Full disclosure on research products is needed so that agencies understand what the products can and cannot do. OTHER DISCUSSIONS The participants discussed other topics, including their ideas for TAM research needs. Among their suggestions were the following: â¢ Deterioration rates that consider climate differences and other factors; â¢ Overall sensitivity of findings and results; â¢ How to incorporate changes in technology, construction, and design into TAM decisions; â¢ How to link TAM with the transportation planning process; â¢ How to use big data in asset management; â¢ Strategies for continuous structural monitoring; â¢ Techniques for managing a series of pavement treatments from a life-cycle perspective; and â¢ Applying TAM principles to managing human resources. KEY TAKEAWAYS â¢ Place an emphasis on communication. â¢ Recognize basic versus applied research. â¢ Create multidisciplinary research teams. â¢ Identify champions in agencies to take the initiative to implement the results of research. â¢ Convert technology transfer into manageable small pieces rather than long reports. â¢ Use GIS-based simulation or visualization tools to help make the case. â¢ Create demand in some way. People need to be made aware. â¢ Put a plan in place to move research from the demonstration phase to the implementation and standardization phases. â¢ Offer regional implementation face-to-face meetings at the end of a research project to help drive the implementation process. â¢ Have a good understanding of what research results can and cannot do.