October 2016


Synthesis Reviews Asset Management Software, Best Practices
A transportation research synthesis from the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) provides findings from a survey of local agencies and links to national resources and research. Its purpose is to increase awareness by Minnesota cities and counties of the importance of asset management and provide guidance for developing asset management plans and systems.
Transportation agencies are increasingly turning their attention to transportation asset management (TAM), a systematic process for tracking the conditions of physical infrastructure to make better decisions about its maintenance. TAM is mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and can help justify funding to the public and elected officials.
For the synthesis, researchers conducted a literature review, consulted with national practitioners, and interviewed representatives from eight local transportation agencies. (The agencies serve communities ranging in population from 25,000 to 4.7 million, in five states plus Alberta, Canada.) Most of the local agencies studied are in the early stages of development of TAM systems or tried something in the past and now are reworking their systems because of emerging and improving technology.
Some findings of note:
Most agencies use asset management software for multiple asset types, and they identify training and data collection as significant challenges to implementation.
Systems are typically tied to a GIS, and in some cases to more specific asset management software for each asset type.
(Links to a variety of software systems are included in the synthesis.)

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