Addressing infrastructure decline through proactive asset management
Several recent studies document the declining state of the nation’s infrastructure and the increasing financial burden required to sustain these assets. Unable to sustain their aging infrastructure investment due to budgetary pressures, many government entities have evolved into a state of managing “dire-need fixes.” Compounding this problem, the “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” traits of many infrastructure assets, such as water and sewer systems, facilitate the politics of deferring the needed maintenance and renewal investment. Also in recent years, a common direction has emerged in the regulatory realm, as well as among the more progressive public utilities. The use of proactive infrastructure asset management is being advocated to address the infrastructure decline and the associated financial burden. This paper presents an overview of the current situation in infrastructure assets and the cost/benefit considerations of implementing asset management as a solution.