Transportation Asset Management Plan

In 2017, IDOT began developing its first Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) to guide the agency’s new approach to operating, maintaining and improving the state’s vast network of highways and bridges.

The first draft of Illinois’ TAMP, released in April 2018, outlines IDOT’s new methodology for how it will manage Illinois’ transportation system. While a big change for Illinois, the new guidelines driving IDOT’s asset-management decisions will create a stronger, safer transportation system for all who use it.

Background

In July 2012, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) codified asset management principles into law. This legislation establishes a performance-based highway program with the goal of improving how federal transportation funds are allocated. In addition, MAP-21 requires each state DOT to develop a risk-based Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP).   

As defined by the Federal Highway Administration, a Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) is a “strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining and improving physical assets, with a focus on engineering and economic analysis based upon quality information, to identify a structured sequence of maintenance, preservation, repair, rehabilitation and replacement actions that will achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair over the lifecycle of the assets at minimum practicable cost.”

Historically, IDOT’s approach to maintaining highways and bridges has been “worst first,” meaning assets in worst condition receive priority for funding. These repair and reconstruction projects are often very costly and time-consuming. As resources become increasingly fewer, this methodology allows little margin for funding maintenance treatments that would prevent assets in good condition from worsening.

To put it simply, a TAMP encourages DOTs to shift programming and treatment decisions from a “worst first” mentality toward one that’s focused on preservation and outlines how a state will develop and implement long-term strategies for proper maintenance of highways and bridges to ensure a longer life.

Accounting for IDOT’s current funding levels and the present state of roads and bridges, it will take several years to “achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair over the lifecycle of the assets at a minimum practicable cost.” However, the TAMP will ultimately yield higher percentages of roads and bridges in acceptable condition.

Program Implementation

Implementing the TAMP will be a major change in funding philosophy, so IDOT will be implementing it gradually. Earlier this year, the department provided funding targets for the FY 2019-24 Multi-Year Program/Proposed Highway Improvement Program to programming engineers at each IDOT district with specific directions to designate a small percentage of their program to preservation treatments for roads and bridges.

Other implementation exercises forecasted for future programming:

  • Data collected on asset condition and field work will be used in lifecycle planning.
  • More specific decision trees will be developed to ensure correct treatment decisions are made.
  • Software will be purchased for use by Central Office and district programming staff to help in the selection of the correct projects at the correct time with available funding..

The completed TAMP is due June 30, 2019. Following FHWA certification, IDOT must update its TAMP and its development process every four years. The department’s progress toward achieving the goals set in the TAMP will be evaluated annually.

State of Acceptable Conditions

The CRS (Condition Rating Survey) rating of 5.5 on interstates and 5.0 on all other roads is the lowest rating at which preservation treatments remain a cost-effective option to maximize the life of our assets and keep good pavements in acceptable condition by doing the right treatments at the right time.

The approved acceptable roadway goals are:

  • 90 percent of interstates at a CRS rating of 5.5 or higher
  • 90 percent of non-interstate NHS roads at a CRS rating of 5.0 or higher
  • 75 percent of non-NHS marked roads at a CRS rating of 5.0 or higher
  • 50 percent of non-NHS unmarked roads at a CRS rating of 5.0 or higher

The Bridge Office has determined and approved that a bridge rating of 5 or above on all bridge elements is an acceptable condition (fair to excellent).

 Acceptable conditions for roadways

The approved acceptable bridge goals are:

  • 93 percent of NHS bridges in acceptable condition
  • 90 percent of non-NHS bridges in acceptable condition

Acceptable conditions for bridges

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is IDOT making this change?

Transitioning to asset management is a federal requirement, but it’s also simply the right thing to do. This is the more fiscally responsible decision for our state’s transportation system. IDOT’s TAMP will raise the bar for the condition of state highways and bridges while saving the state—and taxpayers—money in the long run.

Just as we spend money on things like oil changes and fresh paint to maintain our vehicles and homes to avoid more costly repairs later, asset management prioritizes the maintenance of roads and bridges to ensure a longer lifespan.

Making proactive and strategic investments in our infrastructure extends the life of our assets—our highways, transit systems, airports, waterways and bicycle/pedestrian facilities.

Q: What does this mean for IDOT’s industry partners?

Among the most notable changes will be in the types of projects IDOT is letting, including a growing number of preservation projects.

Q: What changes will members of the public notice?

In keeping with the new emphasis on maintaining assets in a state of acceptable condition, IDOT will be performing upkeep on roads in better condition while allowing roads in worse shape to remain serviceable but in poor condition until funding is available to improve them.

Q: Will this approach lead to unsafe roads?

No, this does not mean IDOT will let bad roads become unsafe. IDOT will continue to keep roads in poor condition serviceable and safe for the traveling public.