Asset Management for Retaining Walls

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) would like to create an asset management plan for retaining walls and develop a proposal for a project to obtain inventory and condition information about metro retaining walls. To support these efforts, MnDOT is interested in the best practices and lessons learned from other transportation agencies with such programs. Questions of particular interest include: What methods (e.g., LiDAR) are used to find and inventory retaining walls (which are often concealed by foliage)? What attributes should be collected for each asset? What inspection guidelines, criteria and time frames should be used? What are the criteria for the useful life of assets of various types and field circumstances? What performance measures and indicators are used for management of these assets? What risk management strategies are used (including the risks of certain inspection intervals)? To meet this need, CTC & Associates conducted a literature search and interviews with practitioners concerning their retaining wall asset management programs. While most transportation agency retaining wall asset management programs are in their beginning stages, CTC & Associates found a significant amount of useful guidance about developing such a program. Particularly important is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) recent inventory of 3,500 walls for the National Park Service (NPS) (and the related guidance, Retaining Wall Inventory and Condition Assessment Program (WIP) in National Resources). Of the agencies that CTC & Associates interviewed for this Transportation Research Synthesis (TRS), FHWA, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and Oregon Department of Transportation (DOT) have substantial programs and offered guidance about most of MnDOT’s questions of interest. CTC & Associates also found a number of reports related to establishing retaining wall asset management programs in particular and geotechnical asset management programs in general, as well as an active Transportation Research Board (TRB) Geotechnical Asset Management Subcommittee. A webinar sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and FHWA on June 24 will include an overview of Oregon and Utah DOTs’ retaining wall programs. The information in this TRS is divided into the following sections: Consultation with Experts; State and Local Practices; National Resources; and Related Research.


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  • Accession Number: 01601686
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 31 2016 1:53PM