Updating the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide—A Focus on Implementation, Phase 1

In January 2011, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) published its Transportation Asset Management Guide—A Focus on Implementation. This document expanded on the original AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide published in 2002. Both documents were produced with NCHRP research effort and have served to introduce and support adoption of transportation asset management (TAM) principles and practices. Other documents have been produced to address asset management from the perspective of particular transportation modes. The status of TAM implementation in the United States has evolved since the initial guides were published. Facing funding constraints, some agencies have adopted a “preservation first” mindset that focuses on “taking care of what they have” before spending money on expanding the system. Other agencies have responded primarily to federal legislation requiring the use of performance data to drive investment decisions in an asset management plan. Current federal legislation and agency rulemaking have established standards of practice that may not have been envisioned when the AASHTO guides were developed. In addition, research under many programs has produced a variety of new tools and guidance that agencies can use to improve their TAM practices. TAM practices internationally as well as asset management practices in other industries also have evolved. At the same time, the practitioner workforce has been changing as less experienced professionals assume increasingly responsible management positions and experience professionals retire. The professional capabilities of the workforce are evolving also, as new technologies are developed and incorporated into transportation infrastructure, requiring new knowledge and skills for effective asset management. NCHRP and others continue to work to advance public-agency TAM practices to achieve optimum benefits from our investments in transportation assets; the need for such research is ongoing. While the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide—A Focus on Implementation (referred to hereafter as simply the Guide) may be considered a key source of information for practitioners, the Guide’s effectiveness—determined by both its content and how accessible and usable that content is—could be improved. For example, the range of topics important for TAM has expanded since the Guide was developed; some topics may now be inadequately addressed or absent from the Guide. Examples include management of ancillary assets, integration of TAM program and decision support with other system planning, life-cycle cost analysis practices, risks management, long-term financial planning, setting of condition and performance targets, cross-asset investment planning, allocation of risk and reward among private and public partners, and more. The Guide itself was produced as a substantial paper document; its access and use may not be well matched to the resources and working practices of agencies and their workforces today and in the near-term future. The Guide’s target audience of practitioners has expanded to encompass agencies and professionals engaged in TAM at local, metropolitan, and multi-state corridor levels as well as state and modal (such as airport, rail, and transit) transportation agencies. Research is needed to enhance the effectiveness of the Guide and of TAM practice generally to achieve optimum benefit from our investments in transportation assets. The objective of NCHRP Project 8-109 is to update the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide—A Focus on Implementation to improve its effectiveness and thereby advance the practices of public-agency TAM. The project will be conducted in at least two phases. Phase 1 is intended to (a) assess the effectiveness of the current Guide and (b) develop a strategy and initial actions for improving the Guide’s effectiveness and presenting the Guide in a form well suited to future updating. Phase 2, if undertaken, will comprise a specific program of work to initiate implementation of the strategy.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-109

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Lemer, Andrew

  • Performing Organizations:

    Spy Pond Partners, LLC

    Arlington, MA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Park, Hyun-A

    Zimmerman, Katie

  • Start Date: 20170310
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180709
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41289

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598920
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-109
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 8 2016 1:00AM