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SECTION: SYSTEM DEMAND

ASSET MANAGEMENT ––

In 2019, PennDOT adopted a Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP), as required of each state department of transportation by MAP-21 and the FAST Act. The TAMP established targets for National Highway System (NHS) pavement and bridge condition, summarized and forecasted Pennsylvania’s inventory of NHS pavement and bridge assets, and outlined Pennsylvania’s asset management processes. While future editions would incorporate additional non-NHS assets, the 2019 TAMP focused on NHS pavement and bridge assets only.

In accordance with MAP-21 and FAST ACT legislation, PennDOT now utilizes a Lowest Life Cycle Cost (LLCC) method for their asset management program. LLCC is an asset management strategy which focuses on asset preservation and well-timed maintenance activities to extend the operational life of assets with a lower annual cost (when compared to the worst-first strategy). This LLCC asset management strategy replaces the worst-first strategy which prioritized assets in the poorest condition first without consideration of an asset’s remaining life. LLCC is intended to increase funding efficiency and maximize asset lifespan. For more information on PennDOT’s Lowest Life Cycle Cost approach, click here.

In development of the 2045 RTP and coordination with municipalities, a need for the collection and analysis of condition data for locally owned, federal aid eligible assets was repeatedly identified. To ensure the transportation assets of the region are being considered in a comprehensive manner, HATS staff will work to establish a process to collect and analyze data on these assets to ensure equal consideration in project selection and development.

CURRENT CONDITIONS

 

The HATS region has nearly 5,000 miles of roadway with nearly 1,700 miles on the Federal Aid System:

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Reported in inches per mile, International Roughness Index (IRI) ratings provide a metric which illustrats the smoothness of the ride on a surveyed stretch of road. While IRI provides a rating for the road, the evaluation of that rating varies depending on characteristics of the road itself. IRI evaluation and overall rating of a road depends on which business plan network it falls in. PennDOT’s breakdown of IRI evaluation is shown in the following graphic:

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As shown below, the median IRI ratings for all business plan networks in the Federal Aid System fall within “Good” or “Excellent” ranges.

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As shown below, from 2014 to 2018, segment miles rated excellent and good increased, while segment miles rated fair and poor decreased. However, from 2018 to 2020, segment miles rated excellent and poor increased, while segment miles rated good and fair decreased. The end result has been a general improvement in pavement condition since 2014.

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These trends illustrate the impacts of the new LLCC approach. The number of poor segment miles in 2020 is roughly equal to the number of poor segment miles in 2014. At the same time frame, the reduction in good and fair segment miles is roughly equal to the increase in excellent segment miles. These are the kinds of impacts we can expect with a shift away from a “worst first” approach and toward the LLCC approach.

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The summary of bridge condition in the HATS region is shown below.

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Since 2018, when PennDOT instituted a new bridge condition rating system and the LLCC approach, bridge condition has stayed relatively consistent in the HATS region. There has been a reduction in both number and percent deck area of state bridges rated “poor”. While there was a slight increase in the number of local bridges rated “poor”, there was a reduction in percent of deck of local bridges rated “poor”. This illustrates the need for HATS to focus on the collection and analysis of condition data for locally owned assets to ensure equal consideration in the project selection and development process.

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To access the interactive mapping application and examine asset condition data in the HATS region, please click the image below.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Continue coordination with PennDOT to select projects for future TIP updates to address assets with the Lowest Life Cycle Cost methodology;

  • Work with municipalities and PennDOT to collect and analyze data on locally owned, federal aid eligible assets to ensure equal consideration in project selection and development.

  • Consider a program to assist municipalities in data collection and capital improvement programming for local bridge and roadway projects;

  • Continue coordination with the necessary agencies to measure progress and work toward asset management performance targets for pavement and bridges (PM-2).

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Asset Management interactive map application