In latest years, increasing claims have been advanced for asset management as an undertaking new approach to infrastructure management. If these claims are glimpsed in the lightweight of past management fads, such as zero-based-budgeting (ZBB), management-by-objectives (MBO), total quality management (TQM), and enterprise method reengineering (BPR), asset management may be advised the latest in the long line of management fads being marketed by consultants to transportation agency managers. However, asset management can be an productive answer to the fiscal challenges tackling the US highway infrastructure.
As we go in the new millennium, the demands on our highway mesh and available transportation funding are greater than ever. These demands, blended with increasing, public expectations for safety, quality, and performance, need highway agencies to maintain the largest grade of service practical. To rendezvous these demands, highway agencies are redefining their objectives, needing them to aim on maintaining and maintaining rather than expanding our living highway system. We are employed to make the scheme work better, run more easily, and last longer.
The nearly 70,000 kilometers of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, also renowned as the Interstate Highway System, cost more than $129 billion to construct.(Vanier,32) The cost of the interstate highways and the cost to assemble and maintain the more than 6 million kilometers of state and local roadways comprise one of the nation's largest infrastructure investments in our country's history. Roads and roads are just that an investment.
The 1997 report to Congress titled Status of the Nation's Surface Transportation System: Condition and Performance declared that the pavement for approximately 48.7 per hundred of our rural interstate mileage and almost 60 per hundred of our urban interstate mileage is rated in fair to poor condition. From these percentages, it is apparent that the pavement status of our nation's highway infrastructure is deteriorating.
The financial demands on highway agencies to repair the damage are greater than ever and will extend to augment except we can better command the rate of deterioration. To maintain high-quality pavements and to remain inside budgetary restricts, the change in beliefs from the traditional reactive maintenance approach to the preventive approach should be made. The preventive approach is comprised by the notion of pavement preservation, which hunts for to make certain that reconstructed, rehabilitated, and living good pavements last longer, extending available funding further. If accomplishing this appears like the challenge, that's because it is, but it can be done. (Vanier,32)
If we delay maintenance and repair of pavement until it has gone after its productive service life, the work needed to improve it will be more comprehensive and exorbitant than regular maintenance.(McNeil,3012) Also, the repair work will make the piece of the highway unusable, and the flow of traffic will be disturbed for an expanded time span of time.
However, if we take the proactive approach in maintaining our living highways, we can decrease exorbitant, time-consuming rehabilitation and reconstruction and the associated traffic disruptions.(Dunker,110) With timely preservation, we can ...