The Federal Highway Administration Office of Asset Management is promoting a different way for transportation agencies to distribute their resources among alternative investment options. This new way of doing business, "Asset Management," is a strategic approach for getting the best return on dollars spent for transportation improvements.
Each State transportation agency will likely have different methods for implementing an Asset Management strategy. For example, some agencies will pursue a data integration strategy in order to ensure comparable data for the evaluation of investment alternatives across asset classes. Others will move to deploy economic analysis tools to generate fact-based information for decisionmakers. Still others will want to integrate new inventory assessment methods into their decisionmaking process.
Pontis® is a comprehensive bridge management system tool developed to assist in the challenging task of bridge management. Initially developed by FHWA, Pontis® now is an AASHTO BRIDGEWare® product. It stores bridge inventory and inspection data; formulates networkwide preservation and improvement policies for use in evaluating the needs of each bridge in a network; and makes recommendations for what projects to include in an agency's capital improvement program for deriving the maximum benefit from limited funds. The software is continuously upgraded and improved based on various users' input.
The FHWA in 2002 sponsored the development of a training course for Pontis® that was offered to State highway agencies beginning in July 2002 as part of the National Highway Institute training curriculum. Since then, the course has been modified to include changes in the software and has been presented in 17 States.
A majority of the States licensing Pontis® use this tool for collecting bridge inventory and inspection data only. On behalf of the Office of Asset Management, I am pleased to present this case study highlighting the business and decisionmaking processes for three State transportation agencies: California, Florida, and South Dakota. The Office encourages other States to move to the next level in using the software capabilities to the full extent. This study, along with the previous studies on data integration, economics in Asset Management, the Highway Economic Requirements System—State Version, and life-cycle cost analysis, will help agencies meet the challenges of managing their transportation programs and implementing Asset Management.
David R. Geiger, P.E.
Director, Office of Asset Management
The Transportation Asset Management Case Study series is the result of a partnership between State departments of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Asset Management. FHWA provides the forum from which to share information, and the individual States provide the details of their experiences. For each case study report, FHWA interviewed State transportation staff, and the resulting material was approved by the State. As such, the reports rely on the agencies' own assessment of their experience. Readers should note that the reported results may or may not be reproducible in other organizations.