Sneak Preview: FHWA Issues Guidance for State DOT Asset Plans

February 15, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently released updated guidance, in a question-and-answer (Q&A) format, detailing the requirements for states to develop a risk-based transportation asset management plan (TAMP) for the National Highway System that complies with provisions under Section 1106 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 113-159).

Under FHWA’s MAP-21 asset management rule (23 C.F.R. Part 515), which became effective Oct. 2, state departments of transportation (state DOTs) are required to establish a process for developing a risk-based asset management plan. The TAMP is one of a series of plans state DOTs must prepare to achieve national transportation goals for improved performance management. Others on this list include the short-term state transportation improvement plan and a long-range statewide transportation plan.

Under MAP-21, a state DOT must develop a publicly available 10-year asset management plan with investment strategies seeking to achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair (SOGR) over the lifecycle of the assets. To assess the continued SOGR, states will adopt short- and long-term targets reflecting the SOGR, and measure actual performance against those targets.

MAP-21 defines risk as “the positive or negative effects of uncertainty or variability upon agency objectives,” and defines risk management as “the process and framework for managing potential risks, including identifying, analyzing, evaluating and addressing the risks to assets and system performance.” The Q&A guidance states that a state DOT’s TAMP process should identify risks that can affect the condition and performance of National Highway System pavements and bridges, including risks associated with current and future environmental conditions (e.g., extreme weather events, climate change and seismic activity), financial risks (e.g., budget uncertainty), operational risks (e.g., asset failure) and strategic risks (e.g., environmental compliance).

When discussing the scope and content of the risk-based TAMP, the Q&A guidance, which was released Jan. 24 and supersedes similar guidance issued in June 2017, explains that the TAMP must include: (1) a summary listing of the pavement and bridge assets in the National Highway System in the state regardless of ownership, including a description of the condition of those assets; (2) asset management objectives; (3) asset management measures and state DOT targets for asset condition; (4) performance gap identification; (5) life-cycle planning; (6) risk management analysis; (7) financial plan; and (8) investment strategies.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

As a reminder, we have all of our Federal Funding Training Forums scheduled for 2018. Please let me know if you have questions or can make any of these. We hope to see you there!

  • Wednesday May 1 – Friday May 4 in ST LOUIS

  • Wednesday July 25 – Friday July 27 in MINNEAPOLIS

  • Wednesday October 17 – Friday October 19 in ATLANTA


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