Integrated asset management framework: using risk-based decision-support systems to manage ancillary highway assets
Boadi, Richard S.
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Risk assessment is an essential part of an effective transportation asset management program. The 2012 surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, requires state departments of transportation (DOTs) to establish risk- and performance-based asset management programs for the National Highway System. While the bill’s provisions include requirements only for pavement and bridge assets, they also recommend that DOTs consider other ancillary highway assets such as culverts and earth retaining structures, and hazards such as rockfalls and landslides. This research introduces an integrated risk framework with supporting algorithms to provide for the integration of ancillary assets and hazards into existing transportation asset management systems, and facilitate budget planning and resource allocation. The framework, Highway Assets Risk Management Decision-Support System (HARM-DSS), adopts a system-of systems perspective in defining and evaluating performance, and analyzing and addressing risk. The algorithms are developed using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and risk analysis methods; value functions are applied to scale performance attributes, and additive weighting to integrate multiple risk criteria. The methodology is applied at the corridor-level to analyze three different case studies using data with notable variability from New York, Minnesota and Oregon. The cases demonstrate the process for developing descriptive and visual information on multi-asset/hazard corridors, with sparse to medium data, in order to identify corridors that are vulnerable to failure, as well as exhibit high risk of failure within a transportation network. The results demonstrate that HARM-DSS can be applied across competing corridors or alternatives to produce descriptive and intuitive results that decision makers can use in budget planning and resource allocation. This research extends the risk-based thinking on transportation asset management, by moving it from a silo-ed to an integrated analytical platform that considers multiple non-homogenous assets and hazards simultaneously. It identifies data deficiencies and offers recommendations on the requisite data collection on asset inventory and condition to improve objectivity in the analytical process and confidence in the analysis results. In addition, it offers recommendations on the appropriate use of expert knowledge in supplementing existing data deficiencies in the interim. This work is potentially useful to decision makers involved in distributing resources to preserve the reliability and resiliency of transportation systems, as well as meet the existing performance- and risk-based Federal mandates for transportation asset management.
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