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Peer Exchanges, Planning for a Better Tomorrow, Transportation Planning Capacity Building

Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program

— Peer Exchange Report —

Developing an Asset Management Program

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
August 14-15, 2007
Host Agency:    
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Participants: North Carolina Department of Transportation
Connecticut Department of Transportation

I. Introduction

This report summarizes the presentations and discussions at a Peer Exchange held through the FHWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program. Staff from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) requested the peer exchange to learn about North Carolina Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) asset management program.

Work conducted as part of the 2004 Long-Range Multi-Modal Transportation Plan (LRTP) was a catalyst within the North Carolina Department of Transportation for new management models and projects. This work made it clear that the North Carolina DOT must do a better job of managing existing assets and the development of an asset management system was the answer. NCDOT's performance-based management approach focuses on safety, program delivery, mobility, and infrastructure health. Continuously monitoring and measuring conditions on the surface transportation network has helped NCDOT become more proactive rather than reactive. Performance-based management sets the goals for transportation network performance, but does not dictate how to achieve them. This provides flexibility in network management, while at the same time demanding accountability from employees.

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II. Background

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), with support from staff of the FHWA Connecticut Division Office, has recently created the Division of Asset Management and Performance Measures within its Bureau of Policy and Planning. The department, with support of the FHWA Connecticut Division Office, requested an asset management peer exchange with a state department of transportation that has an established asset management program to investigate how other agencies have incorporated asset management into their planning, programming, and daily operations. The intent of the peer exchange was for ConnDOT to learn about the successes, challenges, and operations of a different state department of transportation's asset management program.

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III. Summary of Presentations

A. Asset Management and NCDOT's Strategic Management Plan
Steve Varnedoe, Chief Engineer, Operations, NCDOT

Mr. Varnedoe presented an overview of North Carolina's transportation system and the department's approach to asset management. NCDOT's asset management efforts have evolved over time, beginning with an initiative in 1998 to evaluate the condition of its highway system. In response to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, the department began the development of a Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) with the intent of identifying its transportation needs for the next 25 years. The department is funding only about two-thirds of the transportation needs identified in the LRTP. This made it clear that the department must do a better job of managing existing assets, rather than relying on new construction.

NCDOT's approach to asset management has several key elements:

  • Performance-based management: NCDOT's performance-based management approach focuses on safety, program delivery, mobility, and infrastructure health. Continuously monitoring and measuring conditions on the surface transportation network has helped NCDOT become more proactive rather than reactive. Performance-based management sets the goals for transportation network performance, but does not dictate how to achieve them. This provides flexibility in network management, while at the same time demanding accountability from employees.
  • Management systems: In conjunction with its performance-based management, NCDOT has several management systems covering finances, safety, pavement condition, highway maintenance, bridge, transportation systems, and bridge inspection. These management systems are populated with data that allow the department to make planning and programming decisions based on empirical evidence.
  • Roadway tiers: NCDOT has created three tiers of roadways. Statewide Tier 1 encompasses major, high-volume roadways such as the interstate freeways. Regional Tier 2 consists of minor U.S. and North Carolina highways. Local Tier 3 consists of secondary roads.

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B. Long-Range Multi-Modal Transportation Plan
Susan Coward, Deputy Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs and Budget Coordination, NCDOT Alpesh Patel, Transportation Group Supervisor, NCDOT

The 2004 Long-Range Multi-Modal Transportation Plan (LRTP) has been a catalyst for new management models and projects. It has helped the department to develop an investment strategy to prioritize funds between capitalization, modernization, preservation and maintenance. The plan has been an overarching strategic and public policy tool. The LRTP was built on four principles and required both qualitative and quantitative assessments:

  1. Determine a picture of 25-year infrastructure needs based on a robust technical analysis
  2. Develop a 25-year revenue forecast of continued growth from state and Federal sources
  3. Cast a statewide net of public input and involvement (including individual meetings with over 40 stakeholder groups and 2 rounds of statewide public meetings over a 2 year period)
  4. Develop public policy investment scenarios to compare and contrast how the Department should prioritize limited resources

The LRTP identified a $29 Billion gap between future needs & revenue to the year 2025 (based on 2001 construction costs). There was significant challenge in developing the LRTP and describing this shortfall to the public. Public meetings included a discussion of the tiered network concept and of the fiscal constraints which limit needed improvements. The meetings even provided an opportunity for attendees to create their own mock investment plans using fake money.

NCDOT updated the needs and revenue forecast of the LRTP in 2006 (using 2005 construction costs). HERS-ST was the primary platform used to update highway infrastructure costs. NCDOT ran a full engineering analysis through HERS using industry construction cost information and created an inventory of needs by tier. This assessment projected a nearly 45 percent increase in financial needs from the 2004 LRTP, resulting in a new $65 Billion gap between needs and revenue to 2030.

The LRTP addresses four categories of needs by mode: expansion, modernization, preservation, and maintenance.

The LRTP includes a vision plan for statewide Tier 1 corridors. The vision defines how the facility should function in the future. The purpose was to facilitate system-wide decision making and avoid piecemeal decision-making. Corridor studies are used to guide decision-making on some roadways and systems. After corridor planning, the process moves on to project planning and design in order to help achieve the vision. Most expansion needs are on the statewide Tier 1 corridors and financing improvements on these corridors will likely boost return on investment.

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C. Asset Management Efforts at NCDOT
Lacy Love, Director of Asset Management, NCDOT

Mr. Love presented a description of NCDOT's asset management program. The primary drivers for an improved asset management program were increased vehicle miles traveled, increased lane miles for the network, aging of the existing network, and funding constraints.

From an organizational perspective, Love noted that at the highest levels, North Carolina is likely similar to other states that have appointed councils and transportation policy boards. The NC Board of Transportation oversees high-level policy and program objectives, and is composed of 14 members from each NC DOT division; five additional at-large members have special experience in multimodal transportation, environment, finance, aviation and other core topics. Membership rotates and four-year terms are staggered so that new members overlap with existing members.

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D. NCDOT Division of Aviation Asset Management Program
Bill Williams, Aviation Director, NCDOT
Rick Barkes, Aviation System Development Manager, NCDOT

North Carolina has 411 airports. Of these, 74 are publicly owned and operated. NCDOT does not own any of these airports. Most of the airports are for general aviation. The 11 commercial airports are financially self-sufficient.

Commercial and general aviation in the state account for approximately 88,400 jobs, with a total economic benefit of approximately $11.8 billion per year. There are 21.6 million passenger enplanements annually. North Carolina leads the nation in deploying aviation technology initiatives, including "cockpit of the future" applications and installation of better all-weather approaches.

Airport asset management is included in NCDOT's Asset Management Program. Since 1994, the focus of airport asset management has been on pavement conditions rather than capital improvements.

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E. Ferries
Jack Cahoon, Ferry Director, NCDOT

NCDOT ferries transport vehicles and passengers from eight locations along the coast. The ferries carry a total of approximately 1 million vehicles and 2 million passengers. Ferries do not have a formal asset management plan. Decisions are made based on the need to operate, maintain, and upgrade the services in the most efficient way.

The division is currently upgrading the shipyard, replacing two welcome centers, and hiring a firm to design two new ferries. The state funds the division through special authorizations or appropriations.

Ferry service in the state faces several challenges: rising fuel cost, Coast Guard regulations, equipment costs for rescue boats, homeland security requirements, and environmental requirements.

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F. North Carolina Rail Division
Patrick Simmons, Rail Division, NCDOT

The NCDOT Rail Division is involved in freight, intermodal, and high-speed rail. There are approximately 3,500 miles of rail in the state. The division's statutory responsibilities include revitalization, industrial development, safety inspections, crossings, intercity passenger service, and corridor preservation.

The division's responsibilities include planning, environmental issues, engineering, and safety of railways. Planning tasks include long- and short-range planning for passenger service, environmental compliance, state rail plan, high-speed rail development and corridor acquisition. Engineering and safety tasks include project scoping for the TIP, conducting safety inspections in accordance with Federal Railroad Administration regulations, and ensuring safety of grade crossings. NCDOT's grade crossing safety program has served as a model for other states.

NCDOT performs rail infrastructure improvements in the following areas: Sealed Corridor Program, improvements at privately-owned crossings, conducting traffic separation studies, renovating historic stations, track and signal improvements, and developing multi-modal transfer centers.

Travel time and on-time performance are the primary performance measures for railroad passenger service. The Federal Railroad Administration has developed performance measures for cost/benefit analyses. Examples include return on investment, farebox recovery, capacity, and safety.

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G. Public Transportation Division Overview and Asset Management
Miriam Perry, Director, Public Transportation Division, NCDOT

NCDOT's Public Transportation Division is responsible for monitoring the use of transit funds and ensuring compliance with state and federal rules and regulations. The 101 transit systems in the state produce 56M annual passenger trips.

Asset management activities are:

  • Coordinated Planning: Coordinated planning helps create a transit network that is seamless across regional jurisdictions. Federal regulations require coordination in providing human-services transportation. The federal government also requires a comprehensive local planning process for projects using federal funds.
  • Public Transportation Management System (PTMS): The PTMS compiles information on rolling stock, technology, and other capital items. This information is used to evaluate funding requests.
  • Annual Vehicle Utilization Analysis for Non-Urbanized Systems: This analysis is used to assess system capacity needs. It helps identify excess capacity so that resources can be redeployed in higher-demand areas. The assessment is based on two weeks of ridership data for transit systems in non-urbanized areas.
  • System Safety Program Plan Review: This program, which is mandated by the state legislature, focuses on passenger, vehicle, and facility safety and security. System reviews are conducted every three years. These reviews can identify safety and security deficiencies and highlight best practices.
  • Financial Management Review: The financial management review assesses the capacity of grantee transit systems to administer Federal and state financial assistance. Each transit system is reviewed every three years. Reviews can identify deficiencies and highlight best practices.

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H. TIP Funding and Development
Calvin Leggett, Manager, Program Development Branch, NCDOT

NCDOT receives funding from the Highway Trust Fund (29 percent) and the Highway Fund (47 percent). Federal aid makes up the balance of the budget (24 percent). The Highway Fund provides the most flexibility in spending, but the revenue growth is flat. Revenue in this fund comes primarily from the state fuel tax and highway use fees. Highway Trust Fund money is the least flexible in expenditures, but the total revenue that NCDOT receives from this source is growing.

When developing the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), NCDOT must take into account reasonable estimates of the money that will be available in the future. Projects to be funded under the STIP content are chosen based on project development time, funding constraints, priorities, and a distribution formula to ensure that transportation funds are distributed equitably throughout the state.

STIP development, which is done every two years, begins with public meetings to understand the needs of stakeholders. A draft STIP is then developed. The public, MPO's and RPO's are afforded the opportunity to comment on the draft, which is revised based on stakeholder input. After further revisions, the STIP is submitted to the state Board of Transportation for approval. Concurrently, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) approve their metropolitan TIPs based on what is included in the STIP. The STIP then goes to the governor for approval.

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I. Pavement Management
Judith Corley-Lay, Neil Mastin, Pavement Management Unit, NCDOT

NCDOT's pavement management program has three core functions: data collection, pavement condition survey, and analysis and design. Together, these functions involve collecting performance data, analyzing data to determine pavement needs, and researching and designing new pavements. Most state departments of transportation (sDOTs) incorporate these functions into other operations and maintenance units rather than having a separate unit for them.

NCDOT is working with a consultant to develop a new, web-based pavement management system. This system will improve NCDOT's efforts to analyze data that it collects, a function that has not been sufficiently addressed in the past. Under the new program, the central office and the field offices will have access to all data no matter where it comes from. The program will have a direct interface between pavement management and maintenance management systems.

NCDOT has also developed a pavement preservation program for state maintained roads. In the future, it hopes to develop performance prediction tools that will help in programming construction and maintenance funds.

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J. Building North Carolina's Pavement Preservation Program
Scott Capps, State Road Maintenance Unit, NCDOT

NCDOTs Pavement Preservation Program is based on the "3 Rs" of pavement preservation and rehabilitation:

  • Retreatment: Retreatment is generally done on roads with pavement in good but declining condition. It involves minor treatments to the pavement surface, such as microsurfacing and chip and slurry seals.
  • Resurfacing: Resurfacing is generally done on pavement condition that is fair to good. It involves patching failed areas and improving pavement structure.
  • Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation is done on pavement that is in fair to poor condition. The pavement generally is structurally inadequate for the traffic load it carries. Before rehabilitation is initiated, NCDOT conducts various studies to understand pavement condition and to determine priorities and appropriate rehabilitation techniques.

Implementation strategies for the Pavement Preservation Program include training, research, and dedicated funding. Training provides opportunities for NCDOT staff to learn about the pavement management system and its importance. Training also covers performance measures, which include roughness, pavement condition versus roadway level of service, and a pavement condition survey rating. Research includes evaluating new products and several studies on pavement improvements currently being conducted at North Carolina State University.

Dedicated funding involves working with state legislators so that NCDOT's budget includes funding intended to be used solely for pavement preservation. The efforts have resulted in several bills that dedicate money for pavement preservation, beginning with "SB 1005" in 1993 and "NC Moving Ahead" in 2003 that allowed NCDOT to use unexpended bond money for pavement preservation. This was followed by a system preservation bill passed in 2006 for preservation activities on pavements, bridges, and traffic assets.

Another legislative initiative that has paid dividends, know as the Incentive Pay Program, provides incentive pay to employees working on pavement preservation based on their productivity and safety performance. The incentive currently can be up to 0.5 percent of unit's budget. Bituminous surface treatments are generally performed on roadways with low traffic volume (below 10,000 average daily traffic) and good pavement condition. The program has resulted in higher productivity, increased efficiency, and lower unit costs. It also encourages employees to undertake creative thinking and take initiative to improve their job performance.

As a result of the Pavement Preservation efforts, statewide pavement condition ratings have increased from 64.5 to 70.5. Table 1 shows the impacts of the Pavement Preservation Program for 2004.

Table 1: Impacts of Pavement Preservation Program, 2004

Funding SourceBudget (Millions)Miles CompletePercent of BudgetPercent of Miles
NC Moving Ahead$2551,08058.01%17.12%
Contract Resurfacing$1572,35035.71%37.24%
Chip Sealing$27.62,8806.28%45.64%

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K. Bridges
Dan Holderman, Assistant State Bridge Maintenance Engineer, NCDOT
Don Idol, Assistant Inspection Engineer, NCDOT
Cary Clemmons, Computer Consultant, Structure, Inventory, and Appraisal

The Bridge Maintenance Unit is housed in the Asset Management Office. Because the maintenance management systems and pavement management systems cannot interface directly, reports must be done using ad-hoc queries.

Structures are rated using three in-house applications that bridge inspectors use when they are doing an inspection. Since these data are input during the inspection, the information is available immediately for reporting purposes. One of the applications has an embedded CAD tool that allows inspectors to see a sketch of the bridge when on-site. Inspectors can change the CAD sketch to reflect the current bridge condition. The bridge rating is generated using another module that rates each component and then compiles the information into a single rating for the whole bridge.

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L. MMS: A Strategic Approach to Asset Management
Jennifer Brandenburg, State Road Maintenance Engineer, NCDOT

Maintenance Management is a philosophy, not a computer program. In managing maintenance activities, the department has implemented a Maintenance Management System (MMS). MMS is a tool NCDOT uses to Plan, Schedule, Execute and Manage its maintenance operations. MMS has helped to establish a link between expenditures and roadway condition results. It provides managers with information to track maintenance results, constructs models to predict condition at various funding levels, schedules and tracks individual work tasks, and links with other management systems for data sharing. It is premised on performance-based maintenance, using objective and meaningful performance measures, setting clear expectations, and ensuring accountability of maintenance managers.

The MMS approach involves four steps:

  • Planning: Using data on roadway condition, other performance measures, and performance guidelines, planning involves choosing activities that will result in the "most bang for the buck."
  • Scheduling: Scheduling activities is done to ensure coordination between units so that maintenance activities do not conflict with each other and to take advantage of lane closures to do more than one maintenance activity when possible.
  • Executing: Executing the work that has been planned and scheduled is done by creating individual tasks. This allows flexibility in crew assignments and also allows for schedule adjustments.
  • Managing: The MMS aids in managing maintenance activities, maintenance budget, and asset management. It increases efficiency and helps analyze expenditures by comparing planned versus actual expenditures.

(Table 2 shows a comparison of the MMS approach versus the traditional approach to managing assets.)

Table 2: Comparison of MMS versus Traditional Asset Management Approaches

Traditional MMS21st Century MMS
  • Reactive
  • Fiscally Oriented
  • Accomplishment Based Approach
  • Stand-Alone Systems
  • Manual Processes
  • Subjective Condition Assessments
  • Project - Oriented
  • Proactive
  • Outcome - Based
  • Performance - Based Approach
  • Integrated Systems
  • Automated Processes
  • Objective Condition Assessments and Priorities
  • Program - Oriented

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M. R-4701 Annual Report - FY06
Greg Fuller, Traffic Engineering Branch, NCDOT

NCDOT operates approximately 8800 traffic signals. Half of these operate in coordinated signal systems, including some traffic-responsive timing. NCDOT's performance goal is to keep at least 80 percent of signals working efficiently. The agency is currently testing a signal maintenance tracking system that will track all maintenance activities at all signalized intersections.

NCDOT has established performance metrics for Signal maintenance activities which includes the following objectives:

  1. Perform a signal PM every 6 months
  2. Certify conflict monitors every 12 months
  3. Check Signal timing every 18 months with emphasis on the highest-volume intersections and intersections in areas with high VMT growth
  4. Respond to trouble calls and emergency repairs in a timely manner

These measures include maximum emergency response times, keeping at least 80 percent of loop detectors in working condition, and setting maximum time frame for making repairs and signal timing.

The signal maintenance program has paid off in reducing total statewide emergency signal maintenance calls and emergency signal maintenance calls per signal 1. From FY04 to FY06, the number of emergency maintenance calls decreased from approximately 20K annually to approximately 12K. Other preventative maintenance activities are performed on about two-thirds of signals annually. In addition, approximately one-quarter of statewide traffic signals are retimed every year. In the past, it took up to five years to inspect and improve traffic signal operations. NCDOT's proactive approach to signal maintenance has helped decrease the amount of overtime paid to signal technicians.

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N. Improving Mobility and Safety in North Carolina through Improved System Operations and Management
Kelly Damron, State ITS Operations Engineer, NCDOT

Because of increasing congestion, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are beginning to take hold in North Carolina and it is felt that ITS has the potential for high returns on investments.

Most of NCDOT's ITS activities take place on the state's interstate highways. The interstate network contains approximately 1200 miles. Although it represents only about 1.5 percent of the state's roadway network, it carries about 20 percent of the state's traffic. Based on average annual daily traffic (AADT) per lane, approximately 16 percent of the state's interstate lane miles are congested. Estimates indicate that this number will increase to approximately 48 percent by 2025. Another 9 percent are approaching congested conditions.

In Charlotte and Raleigh, annual hours of traveler delay increased four-fold from 1982 to 2002. Approximately 60 percent of delays are due to incidents. An incident blocking one lane of the three-lane interstate results in a 50 percent reduction in roadway capacity. If the lane is blocked for 20 minutes, it will cause 1200 minutes of vehicle-hours of delay. At a value-of-time rate of $4 per hours, this incident would cost $4800 worth of delay. In addition, secondary crashes are always a risk. They account for approximately 30 percent of all crashes in North Carolina. Nationwide, they cause about 18 percent of all traffic deaths. Improved incident management is key to reducing the number and cost of incidents.

To help in incident management, NCDOT operates three traffic management centers, 150 dynamic message signs (DMS), and 200 closed circuit television cameras. It also has a 511 system for traveler information. An example of NCDOT's incident management tracking system is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Example of NCDOT's Incident Management Tracking System

Screenshot of NCDOT's Incident Management Tracking System

To judge the effectiveness of interventions intended to reduce incidents and delay, there must be performance measures. However, because network operations have not been NCDOT's priority in the past, it is not currently collecting the right data for these performance measures.

Traveler information is an important component of good incident management. ITS devices can improve traveler information. For example, several state departments of transportation post travel times on DMSs. The FHWA is promoting the posting of travel times and recommends that states not install new DMSs until they have the capability to measure and post travel times.

The benefits of improved system management and operations has been shown in some cities. Tucson has experienced $6.3 in benefits from every $1 invested in improved management and operations. In Cincinnati, the benefit is $11.08 per $1 invested. Seattle has experienced $12.20 in benefits for each $1 invested.

"System Management and Operations" improvements on the Interstate can maximize use of existing capacity to increase system reliability, efficiency, and safety. To improve management and operations in NCDOT, there should be funds designated for these activities. In addition, there must be better inter-agency coordination, especially with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

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O. Roadside Environmental
Don Lee, State Roadside Environmental Engineer, NCDOT
David Harris, Roadside and Environmental Unit, NCDOT

In keeping with the approach of NCDOT's Asset Management Program that emphasizes measuring performance and being proactive, the agency did an assessment of capital improvement needs of the state's 60 rest areas in 2003. The agency maintains a detailed inventory of each rest area and welcome center that is assessed quarterly to identify needs. This needs assessment identified improvement opportunities such as better stormwater drainage, facility improvements, and new landscaping initiatives. Annual funding allows the agency to address the identified needs and continue to evaluate the facilities and address capital improvements. The agency also continuously monitors roadside needs such as litter collection and mowing.

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P. Equipment Revolving Fund and VMRS Coding Presentation to Connecticut
Drew Harbinson, Director, Equipment and Inventory Control Unit, NCDOT

NCDOT's fleet consists of about 28,000 pieces of equipment. The state's Equipment Revolving Fund consists of money that NCDOT's central maintenance office earns by renting equipment to NCDOT divisions. This allows the agency to concentrate all equipment processing-buying, repairing, etc--and eliminates the need for divisions to purchase and maintain their own equipment. This fund systematically provides money for equipment needs without competing for money in the state legislature.

In 2002, NCDOT changed its rental policy from a daily rate to an hourly rate. This better reflects the actual lifetime cost of equipment. In addition, it provides an incentive to divisions renting the equipment to more carefully monitor equipment usage and make changes based on this analysis. This change increased revenue in the first few months, but receipts have leveled off since then. The state has not seen as much change in equipment usage by renting agencies as it had hoped.

NCDOT's Vehicle Maintenance Reporting System (VMRS) provides a mechanism for tracking equipment parts. Each part is given a "class, group, and item" number. Because this numbering system is hierarchical, it provides the capability to easily run reports on the usage of equipment parts. This can help identify, for example, parts that consistently fail and part usage by NCDOT division.

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Q. Division Role
John Nance, Director of Field Operations, NCDOT

NCDOT divisions are charged with maintenance and operations of roadways in their part of the state. The Asset Management Program is intended to increase the efficiency of these activities. For example, maintenance activities on a particular stretch of roadway might be coordinated to reduce the number of trips to the site and minimize traffic disruption.

Divisions face many challenges in roadway maintenance and operations that could be addressed with the Asset Management Program:

  • Dealing with utilities located within pavement structure of roadways.
  • Lack of sidewalks.
  • New residential development that has resulted in transitions from farm and market roads to commuter roads.
  • Obtaining right-of-way for ditches in rural areas where farmers do not want to give up land.
  • If a vehicle hits a median cable rail, NCDOT has to remove the broken cable from the roadway, a disruptive and dangerous task. This problem could be improved by installing cable that does not fall on vehicle impact.
  • Use of rumble strips on secondary roads.
  • Performing roadside maintenance disrupts traffic and can be dangerous. Coordinating roadside maintenance activities, which could be promoted through the Asset Management Program, could minimize these negative aspects.
  • Public demands can conflict with each other, such as when businesses want improved access to their offices but residents do not want the additional traffic in their area.
  • Monitoring and inspecting development of major traffic generators such as a new shopping mall or sports stadium.

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R. Facilities and Secondary Roads
Delbert Roddenberry, Secondary Roads Program Manager

NCDOT cares for approximately 3000 facilities such as equipment shops, field offices and office buildings. Historically, there had not been a strategic and steady funding source for replacing and maintaining these facilities until early 2000 after NCDOT conducted a study of obsolete buildings and presented to the NC Legislature. The past 2 biennium budget bills have included provisions to use a portion of NCDOT's budget for facility renovations and replacement of obsolete facilities.

Secondary Roads Program
The Secondary Roads Program maintains an inventory of all secondary roads and tracks work orders on these roads. It also handles all requests for new roads and road abandonments.

NCDOT has approximately 5,000 miles of unpaved roads on the network. Approximately 1,500 of these will remain unpaved because of opposition from landowners in the area or due to adverse environmental impact. The remainder of these roads will be paved on a priority basis as funds and donated right of way allow. Every four years, NCDOT conducts an assessment of these roads and rates them according to their paving need. These ratings are used to defend decisions on which roads to pave. Since 1996, paving activities on secondary roads tapered off. In 2003 the NC General Assembly passed legislation that allowed NCDOT to begin shifting, a portion of the funds traditionally used for paving dirt roads, to be used on the paved Secondary road system for safety and modernization improvements.

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S. NCDOT Use of Management Information
Mark Tyler, Accountant, Asset Management, NCDOT

NCDOT's Executive Dashboard provides a means for gauging overall organizational performance. It links the agency's goals to specific performance measures. These are shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3. NCDOT's Executive Dashboard Goals and Metrics

Goal Metrics Comments
Make our transportation network safer Fatality rate National goal is 1.0 fatalities per 100M vehicle miles
Make our transportation network move people and goods more efficiently Travel time reliability
  • System performance-actual versus ideal travel time
  • Use average speed on representative sample sites for different roadway tiers
  • Set goals by comparing North Carolina congestion with national rates
  • Determine peak congestion time and length on representative roads
Make our infrastructure last longer Existing system conditions

Book value of transportation network
Currently being measured by Operations

View of effect of maintenance and construction on network value
Make our organization a place that works well Projects delivered on schedule and within budget
  • Ideal metric for future measure is "% of projects, programs, and services completed on schedule and on budget for a given year," but this would require coordination between NCDOT divisions/departments
  • Current measures are highways-focused, but they should serve as guides for what could be tracked for alternative modes
Make our organization a great place to work Employee satisfaction index

Employee safety incidents
Employee satisfaction can be gauged based on survey results. It is easy to track results and show trends. Employee survey needs to be strategically conducted same time every year for consistency.

Currently being measured Department-wide and shows we care about the employees.

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T. Business Plan
Terry Canales, Assistant to Director of Asset Management, NCDOT

NCDOT is developing a business plan focusing on four areas: safety, mobility, infrastructure health, and program delivery. The plan is still in draft form and is not ready to be distributed yet. The business plan will set baseline goals that NCDOT, the public, and other stakeholders can use to assess NCDOT's performance. Having everyone at the table at the same time can be helpful.

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IV. Discussion

  • LRTP: Until the PMS is complete, HERS data are used for economic analyses of pavement maintenance. HERS numbers can only be used to set relative investment levels. They will not determine what happens in the field. In the future, NCDOT hopes to use PMS numbers for the LRTP. Since the PMS is not yet complete, it is not clear how this will work.
  • Contracting: ConnDOT has open-ended contracts that are let annually. This provides flexibility in choosing vendors and contracts. However, FHWA is now discouraging open-ended contracts. This might mean that ConnDOT can no longer use this technique when spending federal money. NCDOT prefers to use state funds for asset management contracting because they provide more flexibility than federal funds.
  • Building Support from Stakeholders: To build support from maintenance staff, NCDOT has held meetings to present and discuss the Asset Management Program and philosophy. One key to the success of these meetings was to keep the discussion at a high level rather than focusing on details in the beginning. The first meeting was contentious at times because of concerns the maintenance people expressed about the Asset Management Program. There was a second, more productive meeting about a month later. This meeting included the formation of committees to generate ideas on performance measures and targets. The second meeting also gave participants and program managers an opportunity to talk about potential obstacles.

    In the early stages of developing the Asset Management Program, NCDOT's 14 division heads were asked what they would like to see in the program. The response was unanimous. They wanted it to be outcome-based and allow for independence of NCDOT's divisions. Instead of developing statewide standards, the department focused on identifying outcomes and goals.

    ConnDOT is working with the New York State Department of Transportation to set up regional performance measures. The goal is to develop a single set of performance measures for all New England states. This would allow for comparisons of network conditions across states.
  • History of the Asset Management Program: The idea for the Asset Management Program grew out of a 1998 assessment of network conditions. This study did not set out to generate an asset management program. Upon analyzing and sharing the findings, it became obvious that an asset management program was needed. Developing performance measures for the Asset Management Program took about 18 months.

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V. Long-Term Action Items for ConnDOT

  • Meet with ConnDOT's Chief Engineer to provide an overview of the concept of a formal asset management program.
  • Continuously consult with stakeholders on ConnDOT staff and senior management.
  • Develop a list of the benefits of an asset management program to submit to ConnDOT's commissioner.
  • Catalog existing successful asset management activities and list needs.
  • Develop an asset management strategic plan.
  • Pilot the asset management program with a single unit of ConnDOT's Office of Maintenance.
  • If resources allow, develop a ratings system and conduct an assessment of network conditions. It might be possible to determine roadway condition using a video log.
  • Work with FHWA to obtain funding to establish the program.
  • When resources permit, use HERS-ST to demonstrate to decision-makers that resources currently available are not sufficient to develop and operate an asset management program

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VI. Participants

Sue McNeil, Moderator (University of Delaware)

Connecticut Department of Transportation
Charles (Chuck) Drda
James Fallon
Tracy Fogarty
Colleen Kissane
Joseph Kozlowski
Don Larsen

North Carolina Department of Transportation
Jennifer Brandenburg, PE - State Road Maintenance Engineer
Jack Cahoon - Ferry Director
Roberto Canales, PE - Deputy Secretary for Transit
Terry Canales, PE - Assistant to Director of Asset Management
Cary Clemmons - Computer Consultant - Structure Inventory and Appraisal
Judy Corley - Lay, PE, Ph.D. - State Pavement Management Engineer
Susan Coward - Deputy Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs and Budget Coordination
Kelly Damron, PE - State ITS Operations Engineer
Greg Fuller, PE - State ITS and Signals Engineer
Drew Harbinson - Director of Equipment and Inventory Control
Dan Holderman, PE - Assistant State Bridge Maintenance Engineer - Operations
Don Idol - Assistant Inspection Engineer
Don Lee, PE - State Roadside Environmental Engineer
Calvin Leggett - Program Development Branch Manager
Lacy Love, PE - Director of Asset Management
Neil Mastin, PE - Pavement Systems Engineer
Emily McGraw, PE - Pavement Preservation Engineer
Jon Nance, PE - Director of Field Operations
Alpesh Patel - Statewide Planning
Miriam Perry - Director of Public Transportation Division
Delbert Roddenberry, PE - Secondary Roads Program Manager
Bill Rosser, PE - State Highway Administrator and
Pat Simmons - Rail Division Director

Mark Tyler - Accountant - Asset Management
Steve Varnedoe, PE - Chief Engineer - Operations
Bill Williams - Aviation Director
Rick Barkes - Aviation System Development Manager

John Sullivan, PE - FHWA, North Carolina Division Administrator
William Beatty - FHWA North Carolina Division Office
Eloise Powell- FWHA Connecticut Division Office
Tom Van - FHWA Office of Asset Management
Brian Pfeifer - FHWA Illinois Division Office
Theresa Perrone - Volpe Center
Louis Rodriguez - FHWA Resource Center

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