Research Program Design---Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. Measuring Performance Among State DOTs, Sharing Best Practices' Preservation: Comparative Analysis of Bridge Conditions

Previous work by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has demonstrated the value of comparative performance measurement in three areas to date: Project Delivery, Smooth Pavements, and Safety. Each of these projects has involved compilation of detailed performance data for multiple departments of transportation (DOTs), calculation of performance measures for each agency, composition of peer groups for comparative analysis, identification of the top tier of agencies with respect to the selected measures, and interviews to determine practices that may be related to exemplary performance. The first project comparing on-time, on-budget capital project delivery performance successfully demonstrated how the comparative process developed by NCHRP 20-24(37) is gathering user support as well as delivering timely feedback on best practices that have achieved successful results. The next comparative initiative completed in April 2008, successfully demonstrated that states can benefit from comparative measures. This comparative study highlighted five states that have "smooth pavements" and what practical management methods and technical applications they are using to obtain smooth pavements. The third comparative measures effort is finishing and focused on safety performance using the Fatalities Accident Reporting System data. This effort focused on ten state interviews to identify best practices in governance, budgeting, and technical methods that resulted in the reduction of fatalities. This work has been well received by the transportation community and has resulted in the collection of a wealth of data and information to be shared among agencies. These successful endeavors have created momentum for further interest in comparative performance measurement. This momentum can be continued by addressing another key concern of transportation officials: improving and maintaining the condition of the nation's bridges. Because of aging infrastructure and increased traffic volumes over the past two decades, one of the most critical areas of concern is the condition and functionality of bridges. We intend to use the comparative analysis of bridge conditions to identify successful practices for preservation, and maintenance and operations activities of a state DOT. These performance indicators can highlight best practices specific to bridges, as well as organizational structures, relationships with partner organizations, and budgeting practices. Maintaining bridges in good condition and improving the condition of the nation's deficient bridges will significantly affect the safety, reliability, and capacity of the transportation system. The staggering cost per mile of bridge construction and maintenance is of concern to transportation officials. Through cross-state comparison and examination of changes in performance over time the study will identify practices that could be instrumental in managing the entire bridge network. Whereas performance measures aimed at reducing the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges focus management efforts and investment strategies on the small population of assets in poor condition, a more comprehensive performance-based asset management approach to manage the entire population of structures on a network level is required. This approach will include various metrics allowing agencies to preserve their bridge assets in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The objective of this continuation will be to conduct a comparison of state departments of transportation (DOTs) regarding bridge condition-related performance measures and then report on successful techniques employed by the leading agencies. As with earlier work conducted under NCHRP 20-24(37), this comparison will include identification of high-performing organizations with respect to a selected set of key performance indicators and determination of the practices that these organizations have employed to achieve these results. The study will result in a recommendation on developing performance measure(s) suitable for cross-state comparison of the entire bridge population. The goal of the study is to recommend common bridge performance indicators and enhance the performance of participating peer state DOTs by identifying and sharing good practice.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $75000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(37)E

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Performing Organizations:

    Spy Pond Partners, LLC

    Arlington, MA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Harrison, Frances

  • Start Date: 20090903
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20100602
  • Source Data: RiP Project 23676

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549584
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(37)E
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2015 1:01AM