Data envelopment analysis for highway asset investment assessment

Highway agencies have been using many of the elements of asset management with the support of various decision-making tools. To determine the most effective investment strategy with scarce resources, the integration, and hence better utilization, of existing tools and practices across asset classes is generally lacking. This paper applies data envelopment analysis (DEA) to benchmark different highway investment scenarios using existing data or data readily available through existing models. Three asset types, pavements, bridges, and traffic signage, are investigated. Asset investment analysis results from the Highway Economic Requirements System State Version (HERS-ST) application, the PONTIS bridge management system software, and purpose-built traffic signage spreadsheet are obtained to capture the changes of performance measures under various budget scenarios and are further used as the inputs for the DEA process to benchmark investment scenarios for each individual asset. Subsequently, the performance measures and budget levels are assembled in the Asset Manager-NT software, whose results are input into DEA to benchmark cross-assets resource allocation scenarios. Planning for the management of highway network is addressed via case studies in a systematic manner that recognizes the tradeoffs among different funding periods and objectives such as preserving existing investments, safety, roughness and user costs. This study has established a preliminary implementable framework of highway asset management by linking DEA approach and current widely used decision-making tools for more efficient investments within and cross assets, and better understand of the tradeoffs, costs and consequences of various asset management decisions.


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  • Accession Number: 01715574
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2019 3:06PM