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Transportation Performance Management


Transportation Asset Management Case Studies
HERS-ST: The New Mexico Experience

How did New Mexico Get There?

How did New Mexico Get There?

Even with all of the refinements to the pilot software, NMDOT still found HERS-ST lacking in terms of report options, an an issue that has been addressed with subsequent program updates. Undaunted, NMDOT's planners began manipulating HERS-ST data and generating their own customized reports.

Creating these documents required in-depth study of the nuances of HERS-ST and creation of multiple layers of formulas in various Excel spreadsheets. NMDOT's Transportation Fact Sheet, for example, takes the improvement costs calculated by HERS-ST by funding period, by rural and urban designation, and by functional class and multiplies the improvement costs times the benefit-cost ratio generated by the program to compute total user benefits. NMDOT's goal in preparing this report was to present the basic information on engineering needs and projects with a benefit-cost ratio of 1.0 or greater in a concise, straightforward manner.

And NMDOT's outside-the-box thinking didn't stop there. When the State was looking at expanding a 235-mile stretch of US 54 to support two lanes of traffic in each direction, it employed HERS-ST to consider a four-lane option and analyze factors such as vehicle miles traveled (VMT), vehicle hours traveled (VHT), delay times and so forth. Utilizing Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) Policy Insight/TranSight methodology in conjunction with the HERS-ST data, the State was able to determine that the benefits of the proposed expansion would be to commercial freight carriers and travelers to Texas rather than to New Mexico residents!

Finally, NMDOT showed its commitment to HERS-ST by supporting the planning division's involvement with the HERS-ST developers' group. That group meets two to three times a year to evaluate comments and work on software changes and priorities.

Table 1: One of NMDOT's customized HERS-ST reports. New Mexico Department of Transportation Transportation Fact Sheet Twenty-Year Highway Needs and User Benefits of Improvements: Benefit/Cost Basis in $1,000s

March 2005: 2003 HPMS Dataset: State-Owned Roads Only: No Rural Minor Collectors or Local Roads Included Analysis by FHWA's Highway Economic Requirements System-State Version (HERS-ST)
URBAN NEW MEXICO (Years) Interstate Needs Interstate User Benefits Principal Arterial Needs Principal Arterial User Benefits Minor Arterial Needs Minor Arterial User Benefits Collector Needs Collector User Benefits TOTAL Needs TOTAL User Benefits
1st Five 738,228 3,772,345 613,573 7,092,904 95,719 727,464 132,121 1,167,950 1,579,643 12,763,515
2nd Five 457,520 1,843,806 41,384 112,978 10,009 45,141 13,272 48,443 522,187 2,046,973
3rd Five 610,930 2,455,939 123,767 373,776 18,338 37,043 2,006 15,205 755,044 2,884,268
4th Five 847,282 2,762,139 108,574 398,467 8,019 24,699 26,713 101,509 990,590 3,288,759
TOTAL 2,653,960 10,834,229 887,298 7,978,125 132,085 834,346 174,112 1,333,107 3,847,464 20,983,515
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Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000