FHWA's Risk-Based Asset Management Planning Rule

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued this final rule to implement new planning requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST). MAP-21 and FAST require state departments of transportation (DOTs) to transition to performance-based decision-making, a large part of which is the development of a risk-based asset management plan. The new requirements are intended to ensure that federal transportation funding is spent more wisely, with specific performance targets in mind and in consideration of the likely costs to construct, operate, and maintain transportation assets over their full lifetime. In this rule, FHWA included provisions directing states to consider future extreme weather events and climate change as part of their asset management planning.

FHWA's rule lays out a framework and requirements for states to follow as they develop their asset management plans. In addition to including performance targets for assets within the National Highway System, states are directed to States to identify risks to their assets and include risk management and full-lifecycle planning in their asset management planning process. As specified in the rule, lifecycle planning should involve consideration of "current and future environmental conditions including extreme weather events, climate change, and seismic activity" that could affect costs and performance over an asset's lifetime. Additionally, states are required to identify risks that can affect the condition and performance of assets within the National Highway System, including "risks associated with current and future environmental conditions, such as extreme weather events [and] climate change." States must describe their lifecycle planning and risk analysis processes in their final asset management plans.

Pursuant to MAP-21 and FAST, the rule also implements a requirement for states to conduct periodic evaluation of roads, highways, and bridges that have repeatedly required repair and reconstruction activities due to emergency events like natural disasters. The intent of these evaluations is to determine whether there are reasonable alternatives that could avoid this type of repeated repairs, and ultimately encourage more cost-effective transportation planning and investment.

The rule is codified at 23 C.F.R. Parts 515 (asset management planning) and 667 (periodic evaluations of roads, highways, and bridges requiring repeated repair). The requirements take effect October 2, 2017, except for Part 667, which was effective November 23, 2016. In order to give state DOTs time to gather data and information needed for their asset management plans, the rule requires states to submit initial plans by April 30, 2018, which must contain descriptions of the State DOT's asset management plan development processes.  Fully developed asset management plans will be due by June 30, 2019.

 

If you have any trouble accessing the website link above, please find here an archived page: https://web.archive.org/web/20161121234715/https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/10/24/2016-25117/asset-management-plans-and-periodic-evaluations-of-facilities-repeatedly-requiring-repair-and 

Publication Date: October 24, 2016

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