Statewide transportation asset management
Learn how the state plans for and takes action to manage its transportation assets.
Asset management is a strategic, risk-based approach to cost-effectively and efficiently manage Washington's transportation system assets. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) maintains the state’s transportation system on a systematic basis. Experience shows that preserving and maintaining existing assets saves money in the future, while maximizing the condition and performance across the transportation network.
WSDOT and asset management practices
The concept of asset management planning is not new to WSDOT. Pavement management planning has been in place since 1980. However, limited funds present ongoing challenges to perform routine maintenance and preservation activities on our aging and deteriorating assets. Learning from our pavements experience, and directly supporting Practical Solutions, WSDOT is extending asset management best practices to all modes as part of our Statewide Transportation Asset Management Plan.
Asset management is a key component of Practical Solutions. Through Practical Solutions, we identify and solve problems and needs as quickly and inexpensively as possible, making data-driven and performance-based decisions. One of the primary management and communication tools is an asset management plan. Asset management plans are an improved approach and key management tool for WSDOT to make decisions about where and when to invest state and federal funds in the transportation system.
An asset management plan is a document that communicates information about the performance and need of an asset from a network perspective. The plan is used as an improved approach and key management tool for WSDOT to make decisions about where and when to invest state and federal funds in the transportation system.
An asset management plan will often include the following information:
- Asset inventory and the condition of the inventory.
- Lifecycle planning for the asset to maximize performance at the lowest possible cost.
- Performance measures and targets for the asset across the network.
- Analysis of whether performance measures and targets were met.
- A financial plan that aligns planned funding with funding necessary to reach targets.
- Risk considerations that could impact the performance of the asset.
- Investment strategies for how to maintain the asset based on funding levels.
For an example of an asset management plan, please see WSDOT’s asset management plan for bridge and pavements (PDF 15.7MB).
While we are federally required to create asset management plans for transit assets and pavement and bridge, WSDOT is committed to developing asset management plans for all assets. Developing plans across all asset types will take significant time and effort, and the results will eventually help with agency-wide decision making on where and when to make investments in the state transportation system.
Statewide Transportation Asset Management Program
The Statewide Transportation Asset Management Program breaks down into four major asset categories and asset classes within those categories.
The Highways major asset category includes assets that make up the state highway system.
The asset classes within this category are pavement, bridge, ADA, chronic environmental deficiencies (CED), culverts, geotechnical, major electrical, roadside land use, roadside safety hardware, roadway delineation, signs, and stormwater.
The pavement and bridge asset classes are included in WSDOT’s federally required Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP).
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has certified WSDOT’s federally required Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) (PDF 15.7MB).
The Ferries major asset category includes assets that are a part of the Washington State Ferries (WSF) System. The WSDOT Ferries Division operates one of the largest ferry systems in the United States, carrying nearly 24 million passengers annual among 20 different ports. From Tacoma, Washington to Sidney, British Columbia, the routes act as a marine highway for businesses, tourists and regular commuters. The asset classes under this category are ferry vessels and ferry terminals. The ferry vessels and ferry terminals asset classes are included in WSDOT’s federally required Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has certified WSDOT’s federally required Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan (PDF 4MB).
The Intra-Agency major asset category includes assets that provide support for WSDOT operations. The asset classes under this category are Capital Facilities, Information/Technology Division (ITD), Real Estate Services (RES) and Transportation Equipment Fund (TEF). These assets include buildings and sites, core technology service infrastructure, real estate and the work vehicle and equipment fleet.
The Multimodal major asset category includes assets that are a part of the state modal systems. The asset classes under this category are Aviation, Public Transportation, and Rail, Freight & Ports. Some of the assets include railroad freight cars, railroad track, airports, runways and runway lighting systems, buses and vanpools. Washington state boasts the largest public vanpool fleet in North America.
Governance and executive support for asset management
The Secretary’s Executive Order (SEO 1098) (PDF 67KB) supports a statewide approach to asset management by providing direction on the development of a risk-based asset management process for WSDOT. SEO 1098 does this by:
- Establishing the leadership group responsible for developing policy guidance.
- Establishing common definitions related to asset management.
- Establishing an organizational framework for asset management.
- Defining the agency's policy towards using risk-based asset management plans.
Resources, rules and regulations
The following links provide the framework and guidance to develop and implement asset management practices at WSDOT. More details on the current rules and regulations are also found below.
- Secretary’s Executive Order (SEO 1098) (PDF 67KB)
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
- Incorporating Risk Management into Transportation Asset Management Plans (PDF 534KB)
- Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 47.04.280