Transportation Asset Management Case Studies
The Michigan Experience
Managing investments to extend the life of existing facilities and improve the performance of the transportation system is essential for Michigan's citizens and economic sector to prosper.
Michigan's geography is unique among the 50 States. The Great Lakes divide the State into two large peninsulas, both located north of the major east-west transportation corridors. Michigan's economic survival depends on a sound multimodal transportation system to provide access for people and goods to the rest of the Nation.
A significant challenge facing MDOT is Michigan's unusual climate. The lakes modify the severe northern winter weather, leading to heavy lake effect snows and frequent freeze-thaw cycles. The results are rapid infrastructure deterioration, high maintenance costs, and a small window for road construction activities. Under these conditions, investments that extend the life of existing facilities and improve the performance of the transportation system are essential for Michigan's citizens and economic sector to prosper. The department's Asset Management process focuses on these objectives.
Today MDOT is a decentralized organization with seven regional offices and fewer than 3,000 employees. Its staff is responsible for managing a $1.2 billion capital highway program and a $225 million maintenance budget.
Michigan's transportation system consists of a complex mix of facilities:
- 9,704 miles of State trunk line highways, which represent 8.5 percent of the total statewide mileage and carry 54 percent of all statewide travel
- 11,135 bridges, including Michigan's crown jewel—the Mackinaw Bridge—and various major international bridges serving Canada
- 180 miles of instrumented intelligent transportation systems (ITS) infrastructure
- 235 public use airports
- 131 intermodal passenger facilities and 568 miles of AMTRAK service
- 20 ferry services to Michigan's many inhabited islands and 40 commercial ports
- More than 4,000 miles of track for rail freight (965 miles of which are State owned)