Deterioration Rates and Unit Costs for Geotechnical Assets

Federal rules in 23 CFR 515.9 encourage transportation agencies to incorporate in their Transportation Asset Management (TAM) Plans all infrastructure assets within the highway right of way. This may include geotechnical assets such as retaining walls, unstable slopes, embankments, and other asset classes whose functionality may affect the whole life cost and/or performance of the network. AASHTO guidance on asset management notes that best practice is the use of deterioration and cost models as central tools in forecasting future preservation needs and estimating life cycle cost. Agencies implementing geotechnical asset management (GAM) will need to develop consistent quantitative tools to forecast deterioration and costs for best practice asset management and to provide accurate investment plans in the TAM Plan. The deterioration of unstable slopes, embankments, and retaining walls increases the likelihood each year that transportation service in a road corridor will be disrupted by rockfall, slope movement, frost heaves, washouts, and other damage. These problems then require an agency response—either proactive risk mitigation or preservation, or reactive emergency repair—to maintain continuity of service. The objective of this research is to develop measurable, consistent, broad-based deterioration and cost models for the three most significant types of geotechnical assets; retaining walls, embankments, and unstable slopes. The models will be developed mainly using existing condition assessment data already gathered by transportation and other agencies and may be supplemented by field surveys conducted by the researchers, particularly to follow up on earlier surveys or to fill in asset classes not covered by available data. Agency data on quantities and costs of past risk mitigation, preservation, and reconstruction projects will also be used. One value of conducting the research proposed here is to provide DOTs some of the tools to improve progress to GAM implementation. The tools developed with this research are expected to be useable as created or could be readily adapted to an agency’s specific needs. There is some benefit to uniformity of approach that will make it easier and less expensive for state DOTs to develop GAM programs without re-inventing the approaches that have already been developed.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 04-41

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

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

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Start Date: 20180618
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672237
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 04-41
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2018 3:02PM