Development of Operations Management System for Iowa Secondary Road Departments TR-745

Asset management typically deals with assessment of and decisions about long-lived assets, such as pavement, bridges, or underground utility lines. Data is collected year by year, service trajectories are plotted and then used to decide preservation and rejuvenation options. The interval between original construction and eventual reconstruction for such assets is measured in multiples of decades. Iowa Secondary Road Departments have other, softer assets, such as granular surfacing, shallow ditches, small culverts, and narrow roadsides that, in contrast, must be constantly re-groomed to remain in service – in some cases weekly. Classic site or segment specific asset management methods are of less value here, because conditions change and degrade rapidly without the frequent repair and renewal. Instead, the management goal must be that of optimizing the performance of the operational assets that perform the constant monitoring, grooming, and repair of the soft infrastructure: the labor, equipment, communications channels and inventories of the Secondary Road Maintenance forces. To be most effective, this collection of dynamic assets needs to jointly assess circumstances, allocate resources, and plan actions – on a daily and often even hourly basis. While this has long been accomplished via radio, phone and end-of-day discussion, lag time between discovery of need and action to remedy it can be further reduced, and the employees involved should be empowered to make informed decisions whenever changed circumstances occur. To respond to this challenge, the ICEA Computer and Information Technology Committee envision a web based set of tools that would help optimize the functioning of secondary road department maintenance assets. The objective is threefold: to provide for accurate, real-time tracking of the operating assets, with integrated accounting, to enable multi-channel, global and worker to worker, intercommunication capabilities, and to provide all staff with a rich set of decision support tools. When implemented, it will enable maintenance teams to act with greater efficiency and apply their efforts more effectively, with less need for return-to-shop delays, and maximized road network usability. It would also enable measurement of performance and establishing performance goals. All tools included in this ensemble would be made available to staff members via 4G wireless, global positioning system (GPS) enabled, multiple devices in the form of a structured collection of web-applications, dynamic map views, and status panels.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $515220
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Iowa Department of Transportation

      800 Lincoln Way
      Ames, IA  United States  50010
    • Managing Organizations:

      Iowa County Engineers Association

      , IA  United States  50011
    • Start Date: 20180901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20210930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01682039
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: TR-745
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Sep 26 2018 3:35PM