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Asset Management and Management of Highway Performance (Peer Exchange)

1.0 Introduction

This report summarizes the proceedings of the Asset Management and Management of Highway Performance Peer Exchange hosted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The peer exchange was held in Washington, D.C. on August 17, 2009.

Transportation asset management is a set of guiding principles and best practice methods for making informed resource allocation decisions, and improving accountability for these decisions. Performance measures are a fundamental building block of any asset management effort. Looking beyond asset management, there is significant interest at the Federal and state levels in improving the transparency and accountability of all types of transportation investment decisions. Towards that end, a number of organizations and agencies, including FHWA, AASHTO, and the U.S. Congress, state departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are working to establish more performance-based transportation programs. While the details of each group's approach may differ, the overall goals of these efforts are consistent:

  • Improve the performance of the nations' transportation infrastructure;
  • Provide for greater accountability in the decision-making process;
  • Make the best use of limited resources; and
  • Ensure the long-term economic vitality of the nation.

Discussions regarding performance-based transportation programs have largely been organized around goal areas (e.g., preservation, safety, congestion, etc.). While existing data resources and analysis capabilities differ significantly between the goal areas, the state of practice is relatively more advanced in preservation and safety then in the others. This peer exchange aimed to continue the dialog on the details of establishing performances measures and setting targets for pavement and bridge preservation. Building on the strengths of asset management practices related to these assets can help to guide performance management discussions in other transportation goal areas. The discussions at the peer exchange may also help to inform subsequent work on the next Federal transportation reauthorization bill.

1.1 Peer Exchange Format

A list of peer exchange participants is presented in Table 1.1. Unlike typical peer exchanges where agencies present their experience related to a particular topic, the Asset Management and Management of Highway Performance Peer Exchange focused less on presentations and more on lively roundtable discussions.

Following brief presentations on the status of ongoing performance management work by the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, FHWA, and AASHTO, the peer exchange agenda consisted of facilitated discussions covering five topics:

  1. Performance measures for pavements and bridges;
  2. Target setting for pavements and bridges;
  3. Performance measures for other transportation goal areas;
  4. Implications for planning and programming; and
  5. Implementation.
Table 1.1 Peer Exchange Participants
Participant Organization
Kelsey Ahern Cambridge Systematics
Mara Campbell - Director of Organizational Results Missouri DOT
Wade Casey - Bridge Management Engineer FHWA
Scott Christie - Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Pennsylvania DOT
Judith Corley-Lay - Pavement Analysis Engineer North Carolina DOT
Paul Degges - Chief Engineer Tennessee DOT
Charles Dougherty - Director, Technical Services Division Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Steve Gaj - Team Leader, System Management and Monitoring Team FHWA
King Gee - Associate Administrator, Office of Infrastructure FHWA
Joe Guerre Cambridge Systematics
Randy Halvorson Cambridge Systematics
Pam Hutton - Chief Engineer Colorado DOT
Tony Kane - Director of Engineering and Technical Services AASHTO
Todd Kohr - Director of Highways Policy U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Jim March - Director, Industry and Economic Analysis Team FHWA
Michelle Maggiore - Program Director for Planning and Policy AASHTO
Jim McDonnell - Deputy Program Director for Engineering AASHTO
Kathleen Penney - Chief Engineer District DOT
Neil Pederson - Administrator Maryland State Highway Administration
Ken Petty - Planning Capacity Building Team FHWA
Nastaran Saadatmand - System Management and Monitoring Team FHWA
Kyle Schneweis - Project Manager Kansas DOT
Steve E. Simmons - Deputy Executive Director Texas DOT
Kirk Steudle - Director Michigan DOT
Pete Stephanos - Director, Office of Pavement Technology FHWA
Jienki Synn - Planning Oversight and Stewardship Team FHWA
Kevin Thompson - State Bridge Engineer California DOT
Thomas Van - Pavement Management Engineer FHWA
Bobbi Welke - Southwest Region Engineer Michigan DOT
Butch Wlaschin - Director, Office of Asset Management FHWA
Francis Ziegler - Director North Dakota DOT

The open discussion format of the peer exchange allowed for a free flow of ideas among the participants. The remainder of this report summarizes the highlights of these discussions.

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Updated: 06/18/2012