In the early 1990s the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) was a highly centralized agency that had just completed its final links in the Interstate Highway System. At the same time the Department was facing the reality that much of the existing system had been in place for more than 40 years. MDOT needed to move the organization away from building to managing and operating the existing infrastructure. At the same time, the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) provided the impetus for what was to become a comprehensive redesign of MDOT's business practices within an Asset Management framework, with data management a key requirement for the decisionmaking process.
MDOT began its data integration effort by building a Transportation Management System, migrating key planning, programming, and project-delivery data from the mainframe to a user-friendly environment.
To support improved decision making, MDOT began its data integration effort by building the Transportation Management System (TMS). With TMS, the department migrated key planning, programming, and project delivery data from the mainframe to a more user-friendly environment. The migration resulted in the fusion of approximately 20,000 files into five major databases. To integrate the legacy databases pertaining to transportation assets, MDOT abandoned all existing linear referencing systems and adopted a single, statewide, linear referencing system. TMS now provides the platform for consistent and collaborative decision-support and resource allocation processes that support Asset Management.
The decision to invest in the development of TMS dramatically changed the way MDOT does business. Not only has the new system met the day-to-day business needs of the department's system users and many of its partners, it has also been the catalyst for changing the way MDOT is organized, how it is staffed to deliver its products, and how it relates to its various constituents.
Over the past decade, MDOT has become a leader in Transportation Asset Management. Recent legislation requiring Michigan's transportation agencies to adopt Asset Management concepts assures further business process improvements and solidifies the role of data integration and TMS in moving MDOT and its partners forward.