Selecting Assets for Inclusion in Asset Management Programs

Guide Home / 2. TAM Strategy and Planning / 2.5 Moving Beyond Pavements and Bridges to Other Assets / 2.5.2 Selecting Assets for Inclusion in Asset Management Programs

Organizations face constraints on resources and budgets. Therefore, those seeking to broaden their asset management programs by incorporating additional information require a method for assessing the benefits and costs of system development, data collection, and data management. The Handbook for Integrating Ancillary Assets into TAM Programs (FHWA 2019) presents structured approaches, outputs, and essential guidelines concerning the steps needed to formulate a prioritized strategy for integrating asset classes. Prioritization is crucial to ensure the effective and efficient use of limited resources. The Handbook outlines a seven-step procedural framework fostering collaboration among business units with asset data requirements or responsibilities in data collection and management. Determining which asset classes to include in an organization's asset management program hinges on a thorough grasp of the organization's IT policies, architecture, and strategies.

Figure 2.11 Prioritization Overview

Typical asset classes considered though this process can be extensive. The assets listed in Table 2.2 are an illustration of potential classes that may be considered by agencies, and was compiled in the Handbook (FHWA 2019), adapted from NHI 2017.

Table 2.2 - Typical Highway Ancillary Asset Classes

Structures (not Bridges or otherwise in the National Bridge Inventory)
  • Drainage Structures
  • Overhead Sign and Signal Supports
  • Retaining Walls (Earth Retaining Structures)
  • Noise Barriers
  • Sight Barrier
  • High-Mast Light Poles
Traffic Control and Management—Active Devices
  • Signals
  • ITS Equipment
  • Network Backbone
Traffic Control and Management—Passive Control Devices
  • Signs
  • Guardrail
  • Guardrail End Treatments
  • Impact Attenuator
  • Other Barrier Systems
Drainage Systems and Environmental Mitigation Features
  • Drain Inlets and Outlets
  • Culverts (<20 ft. total span)/Pipes
  • Ditches
  • Stormwater Retention Systems
  • Curb and Gutter
  • Erosion Control
  • Other Drains (e.g. Underdrain and Edge Drain)
Other Safety Features
  • Lighting
  • Pavement Markings
  • Rockfall
Roadside Features
  • Geotechnical assets such as retaining walls and cut/fill slopes*
  • Sidewalks
  • Curbs
  • Fence
  • Turf
  • Bush Control
  • Roadside Hazard
  • Landscaping
  • Access Ramps
  • Bike Paths
  • Roadside Graffiti
  • Roadside Litter
Other Facilities and Other Items
  • Rest Areas
  • Weigh Stations
  • Parking Lots
  • Buildings
  • Fleet
  • Gravel/Unpaved Roads
  • Vehicle Charging Stations

*See NCHRP Research Report 903: Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies (FHWA 2019) for more details on best practice for managing geotechnical assets.

Many agencies institute priority tiers to group asset classes, enabling the development of distinct plans for gathering, storing, and managing necessary data in accordance with management objectives. Determining which assets to include in a specific implementation project depends on a wide range of interconnected factors, rendering the development of a precise ranked order for all assets challenging. Streamlining this process can be achieved through the adoption of a tiered system which groups assets of comparable priority together. As exemplified in Table 2.3, both Nevada and Ohio compiled ranked lists that can be translated into prioritized tiers. Each agency possesses distinct priorities and can utilize a similar methodical approach to assess their portfolio within the framework of their operational and strategic planning capabilities, as well as their management objectives.

Table 2.3 - Examples of prioritized tiers developed by Nevada and Ohio DOTs

Adapted from 2019 FHWA Handbook on Ancillary Asset Management

  • Pavements
  • Bridges
  • ITS assets
  • Rest areas, buildings and storage facilities
  • Pavements
  • Bridges
  • Culverts
  • Barriers/guardrail
  • Overhead sign structures
  • Slopes
  • Hydraulic infrastructure
  • Signs
  • Sign structures
  • Lighting
  • Retaining walls
  • Curb ramps
  • Geotechnical assets
  • Traffic Signals
  • Noise barrier walls
  • Lighting structures
  • Bike paths and sidewalks
  • Pavement marking
  • Weigh stations and pump houses
  • Retaining walls
  • Curb and gutter
  • Embankments
  • ADA Features
  • Cattle guards and fences
  • Signals
  • Noise walls
  • Ground mounted signs
  • Sidewalks