Highway Asset Management
I. Principles of asset management
Asset management is an approach that enhances the allocation of resources for the operation and development of highway infrastructure, according to the transport system and designed objectives. The highway asset management should be at par with the assets management policy and the transport project’s aims. Asset management follows various key principles aligned with the core purpose and considers the underlying priorities, such as long-term sustainability and asset utilization. Some of the principles include systematic, risk-based principles, optimal, systemic, integrated, sustainable, and holistic (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). According to the holistic principle, the organization must consider a wide range of assets, especially how one can use the assets dependently without other assets.
On the other hand, asset management should consider the impact of different assets and what activities can be conducted using the asset. Application of highway assets should be in a structured manner, according to their effectiveness. Having a structure promote good decision making and transparency. Taking risks into consideration is very important, especially evaluating the cost and benefits of the risk before allocating and using the assets (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). Building assets should be managed sustainably to fit into the long term and future goals of the organization. Sustainability means taking into account the long-term effects of the assets, societal responsibilities, and economic sustainability.
II. Highway asset inventory
Highway assets include things like culverts, traffic signs, guardrails, and light poles. Highway inventory is essential, especially in maintained the assets and the highway. Various technologies have been used to enable the state department of transport and other transport networks to manage and update highway asset inventories, for instance, the airborne LiDAR technique (He, Song, and Liu, 2017). Some highway assets inventories include the crash data, drainage structure, intersections, remote data collection, traffic signals, and remote data collection. Asset inventory asset in keeping track of the building assets, especially on their condition, quantity, location. AN inventory assist minimizes extra expenses and promotes asset maintenance for sustainability (He, Song, and Liu, 2017). Most companies currently use visual inventories that manage the information collected in the field, especially on road geometry. The data collection system, such as the geometric measurement vehicle (GMV), promotes effective capturing of highway images and asset management parameters. Some of the parameters include the railway crossing, the milestones, the road equipment, tunnels, and road types.
III. Performance measures
Performance measurement measures the performance of the highway assets and the services provided by the assets. For instance, the two main types of measurements include the organization’s performance measurements and highway assets’ physical condition. An asset’s performance can be in two ways, the asset condition and the asset’s ability to achieve the designed purpose (Le, and Jeong, 2016). Performance measurement checks on the reliability of the asset, the responsiveness, and the tangibility of the asset. The performance also measures the level of services, such as the clarity of the signage, the extend and size of the potholes, and the highway night-time visibility. Performance measures provide a report on whether the road regulatory board and the authority undertake their roles effectively. The performance measures are the output measures, the input measures, the efficiency, and the outcome. The major steps used in identifying performance measures include evaluating the current performance measures and their use, defining the gaps that could be addressed according to the evaluation results, and developing a new strategy for performance measurement. The most used performance measurement method is the system audits, which are conducted monthly, or annually.
IV. Long-term financial planning
Since building asset management is all about managing resources, Financial planning is very important, especially in planning for future investments. Long-term financial planning considers the economic value and capital value of the assets, which is key in financial management. Asset inventory provides information useful in the long-term financial management of highway asset management. Long-term financial planning ensures the cost estimated in asset management can sustain future investments and developments, such as replacement or improvement of the assets (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). For instance, the ten million can be estimated cost for asset renewal for the next ten years. In long-term financial planning, factors such as climate change, consumer preferences, vehicle ownership, and other seasonal factors are considered since the factors affect highway assets’ needs. In planning, sparing an extra amount of money for replacement or improvement in an event can be lifesaving. On the other hand, the assets’ level of services is a consideration in the planning, and importantly, the state of the highway.
V. Risk assessment
Asset assessment in highway asset management is vital, especially in dealing with top risks. (Herrera, Flannery, and Krimmer, 2017). Some of the risks encountered in asset management include over maintenance and undermaintained assets, less knowledge concerning the asset, improper risk management policy, and a sub-optimized asset management system. Identifying risk assists in continuing with the management process and eliminating any hindrances during the process. Maintenance is a tipping risk, especially lacks sufficient funds to maintain highways, bridges, and other asset parameters (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017).
Risk assessment follows designed step, for instance, identifying the risks, analysing the risks, evaluating the risks, and treating the risks. The risk might occur during the highway construction process, which can be identified through risk calculation per asset. Some of the risks in highway asset management include the risk of expensive asset maintenance, loss of assets, and highway operation risk. Risk calculation starts by defining risks, defining maintenance, calculating risks, repeat risk calculation process, calculation of risks per asset, a combination of assets risk to maintenance risk per section, and combination of risks per section to network risks.
VI. Implementing asset management practices within an agency
Implementing asset management practices in an agency follows a designed procedure or method. At the beginning of the implementation process, identifying and realizing whether the current practices are in work or delivering as expected is the first step. Additionally, develop a model to enhance the practices, for instance, the ISO 55001, to improve and address the current issues. Use other approaches and the existing Asset management system for effectiveness, and support the current management project. The management team should devote to themselves asset management through resourcing and other forms of interventions (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). Certification and team effort are everything in implementing the practices, especially in matching the practices with the organization’s objectives and goals. Implementation of asset management follows a management plan, which entails the state of infrastructure, desired level of service, life cycle management strategy, and financial strategy.
VII. Application of asset management principles to field operations
Asset management is a top requirement in the development of an effective Asset management highway (Herrera, Flannery, and Krimmer, 2017). Implementation and application of asset management principles to the operation are governed by intention, the scope of the project, and responsibilities. Application of the principles ensures the asset management decision is reliable, sustainable, and align with the long-term financial plan. Other impacts of applying asset management principles include enhancing asset management decision making, service delivery, environmental adaptability, innovation, and a holistic approach. The principles shape and reshape various practices and strategies within asset management (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). On the other hand, asset management principles are applied through documentation and a language that aligns with the policies. The application of asset management principles is based on the environmental changes, economic factors, and risks associated with asset management.
VIII. Self-assessing agency gaps between the desired and actual use of asset management Principles.
Highway asset management is successful when the investment decisions, customer demands, and risks align with the project’s goals and objectives. Asset management is a continuing process that requires frequent self-assessment, especially in the management of risks (Herrera, Flannery, and Krimmer, 2017). Assessment, however, is designed to identify gaps and strengths that may hinder the decision-making process. Gap analysis is a type of assessment conducted to identify the strengths and weaknesses between the desired and actual use of asset management principles. The gap analysis enhances the highway asset management process, especially in gathering information for enhancement and evaluating the condition and use of the assets (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). The main role of gap analysis is to identify the current asset capability, the desired capabilities, audit, or performance measurements, and develop a financial plan and an improvement plan.
He, Y., Song, Z., & Liu, Z. (2017). Updating highway asset inventory using airborne LiDAR. Measurement, 104, 132-141.
Herrera, E. K., Flannery, A., & Krimmer, M. (2017). Risk and resilience analysis for highway assets. Transportation research record, 2604(1), 1-8.
Le, T., & Jeong, H. D. (2016). Interlinking life-cycle data spaces to support decision making in highway asset management. Automation in Construction, 64, 54-64.
Shah, R., McMann, O., & Borthwick, F. (2017). Challenges and prospects of applying asset management principles to highway maintenance: A case study of the UK. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 97, 231-243.