Multi-Objective Allocation Approach / Caltrans
The approach for allocating funding within the Caltrans State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) is an example of a “bottom-up” multi-objective, cross-asset resource allocation approach. The SHOPP funds repair, preservation, and safety improvements on the California State Highway System (SHS). The SHS is comprised of approximately 50,000 lane miles and the 2018 SHOPP will implement $17.96 billion in projects over four years. The SHOPP programming cycle results in a four-year program of capital projects that achieve the performance targets specified in the TAMP, consider the fiscal constraints, and address the needs identified in the State Highway System Management Plan.
In an effort to make the process more data-driven, Caltrans piloted a MODA approach to prioritize projects for inclusion in the SHOPP. The agency used the goal areas identified in their Strategic Plan (Safety and Health; Stewardship and Efficiency; Sustainability, Livability, and Economy; System Performance; and Organizational Excellence) and established criteria to evaluate projects across the five goals. In the initial pilot, Caltrans focused on obtaining the technical data necessary to evaluate how well each project progressed towards its goals. The agency is in the process of refining the approach based on the results of the pilot. They revised the goal areas to best account for all the activities included in the project. In addition, they represent each project score through a monetized benefit value, which addresses challenges related to scaling and weighting. With the revised approach, projects are scored based on the annual benefit of performing the project relative to deferring work for one decision period (two years). Benefits predicted using the approach are analogous to monetized benefits predicted using benefit/cost analysis tools and approaches, such as the Cal-B/C tool Caltrans uses to evaluate potential highway improvements. This approach leverages prior work performed to quantify the benefits of a proposed investment, and helps address issues with scaling and weighting different measures of benefit encountered in the initial pilot.
TAM Peer Exchange Presentation
NCHRP 08-103, Preliminary Draft Final Report
Read more in the chapter: 5.2.3 Use of Multi-Objective Decision Analysis for Resource Allocation