An Implementation Manual for Geotechnical Asset Management (GAM) for Transportation Agencies

Randy PostResearch Needs Statements

SR 410 Nile Valley Landslide. Credit WSDOT

In the past decade considerable advancement has been made in Transportation Asset Management (TAM) to allow agencies to focus strategically on the long-term management of government-owned assets and guidelines are available for the development of asset management plans. In the past few years, the application of asset management principles to geotechnical assets has followed the general TAM development and been tried by a few state departments of transportation and other agencies. However the results to date are mixed, with considerable differences in approaches and results. Early efforts have often focused on inventorying and condition surveys and not continued along the full TAM spectrum, hence the benefits of asset management have not been realized.

Recent efforts such as those by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Central Federal Lands Highway Division (Vessely 2013), Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to develop asset management plans for geotechnical assets have increased the awareness of the valuable contributions possible by Geotechnical Asset Management (GAM). With the passage of the Federal surface transportation bill Moving Ahead with Progress for the 21st Century (MAP-21) which specifies performance management criteria and encourages state transportation agencies to develop and implement transportation asset management strategies for all assets within the right-of-way, it is time to move beyond the initial steps of GAM and focus on the development and incorporation of geotechnical assets into the transportation asset management arena.

RNS last modified on March 25, 2014.  Visit the TRB Website for the official RNS statement.