Data and modelling are very important components of asset management. Roads, bridges and other transportation assets do not last forever. They have a limited service life which is affected by traffic loading and environmental impacts such as heating and cooling and changes to moisture content, etc.
In order to effectively manage transportation assets, it is necessary to have a complete inventory of the assets to be modelled. Once the inventory is established, the condition of the asset should be determined. This may include variety of distresses, depending on the asset type.
Once sufficient condition information is collected, this data can then be used to modelling the performance of the asset so that its future condition can be predicted. This will then allow planning and budgeting for future maintenance and rehabilitation treatments to cost-effectively manage the asset.
Investment decisions for assets may also be allocated based on risk. For example, funding may be allocated to assets required to access remote communities. If the asset is compromised, residents may not be able to obtain access to essential services.
Asset management systems typically include tools for the full life-cycle evaluation of an agency’s assets. Lifecycle plans may be used to demonstrate how funding and/or performance requirements are achieved through appropriate maintenance strategies with the objective of minimizing expenditure while providing the required performance over a specified period of time.