Retaining Walls Are Assets Too!

In 2005, the National Park Service (NPS) commissioned the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH) to develop an inventory program for retaining walls. The mission of the wall inventory program (WIP) is to define and quantify wall assets associated with park roadways in terms of their location, geometry, construction attributes, condition, failure consequence, cultural value, apparent design criteria, and cost of structure maintenance, repair, or replacement. The WIP data will feed into the Facility Management Software System, the existing data hub that NPS uses to document, manage, and plan efforts related to park assets. Developing the WIP required researching existing State inventory programs, developing a customized wall inventory and assessment system suited to NPS asset management requirements, and piloting the methodology at several national parks. The current wall assessment methodology meets the comprehensive WIP goals of identifying walls in need of maintenance, repair, or replacement; facilitating statistical assessments of wall elements throughout the entire WIP database; and providing a baseline for future wall assessments. To date, the agencies have completed wall inventories capturing condition assessments and deferred maintenance costs for nearly 3,500 retaining walls in 33 national parks, monuments, and recreation areas. General findings show that if culvert headwalls are included as a type of fill wall, then nearly 90% of all walls are designed and built to retain fill. Approximately one-third of the walls require some type of corrective action, mostly either maintenance or minor repairs to localized elements. Less than 3% of the inventoried walls have recommendations to replace all or parts of the wall, suggesting that the asset as a whole is still in acceptable condition. The results of the program to date indicate that conducting a comprehensive wall inventory across all remaining NPS properties is not necessary to adequately characterize the condition of the overall asset and facilitate planning for deferred maintenance activities.


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  • Accession Number: 01142412
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 22 2009 12:24AM