In 2003 NCDOT recognized the importance of asset management to the department as a whole and, as part of a reorganization effort, established an Asset Management Office under the Chief Engineer - Operations. This bureau is made up of centrally based units that support the division offices in asset management evaluations and activities.
NCDOT also recognized the need for a performance based management plan. The development of such a plan was led by a steering committee made up of staff from the Chief Engineer's Office - Operations and Division Engineers. The steering committee is responsible for providing general oversight for seven functional workgroups (maintenance, pavement, bridges, traffic/ITS, roadside, construction, and funding and allocations), with representation from FHWA and the appropriate units. These workgroups were charged with developing a series of performance based measures (based on LOS) that support the long range plan and asset management philosophies. The department has identified several tasks for developing and implementing these measures. (See Performance Based Measures/Asset Management Tasks.)
NCDOT's focus on transportation asset management has brought about numerous other changes, including the addition of a system preservation line item in the legislative budget; the changing of secondary roads legislation in 2005 to transition from a program focused solely on paving dirt roads to one that includes paved road improvement projects; and the development of management systems in pavement (PMS), maintenance (MMS), traffic signal maintenance, bridge (BMS) and geographic information systems (GIS). NCDOT's goal is for all of these systems to one day communicate with a common data system.
In addition, as part of the department's effort to keep the 2004 Long Range Statewide Transportation Plan a living document, NCDOT has committed itself to updating the needs and revenue analysis every two years and conducting a full plan update (including citizen input and an investment direction) every four years. In light of this, the department undertook a mid-cycle update in 2006. NCDOT will release its findings in the spring of 2007.