Asset Management Guide for Transportation

NCHRP Project 20-24(11)

Guide Content

  • Asset management framework, benchmark practices
  • Agency self-assessment exercise
  • Development of asset management strategy
  • Concepts, principles, and practices relevant to agency policy goals and objectives, planning and programming, program delivery, performance monitoring, and information and analytic capabilities
  • Development of implementation plan
  • Execution and tracking
  • Plan updating


Develop a guide to assist transportation agencies in implementing transportation asset management. Work is a product of National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 20-24(11), sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Project Overview

Recognizing that state transportation officials at all levels must manage a wide range of transportation assets, AASHTO identified asset management as a priority initiative for the Association and its members, with the support and collaboration of the FHWA and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Member agencies wanted guidelines on a systematic approach to help them integrate the management of their transportation assets while considering technical, financial, and political factors. The approach leveraged information from various individual systems so that better, more informed decisions in resource allocation and utilization could be made.

Our Approach

  • Gather and synthesize current asset management practices in the United States and overseas, reflecting both public and private sectors
  • Develop a framework for transportation asset management based on the research conducted
  • Draft a Transportation Asset Management Guide for transportation agencies
  • Develop asset management implementation methodology
  • Recommend a prioritized program of research in asset management to address gaps and issues in current practice

Project Results

Cambridge Systematics developed the Transportation Asset Management Guide, which provides agencies with an understanding of the benefits of asset management and a roadmap for improving its execution. The Guide presents an integrated view of asset management, incorporating organizational structure, decision processes, and information systems. It provides practical advice to help agencies enhance accountability, reduce fragmentation of decision-making, and make more effective use of information and analytic tools. It reinforces the importance of clearly stated policy objectives, consideration of options and tradeoffs at each stage of decision-making, and performance monitoring and feedback for ongoing improvement.

The Guide includes self-assessment methods to help identify appropriate initiatives and set priorities, based on each agency’s unique situation. Successful approaches are incorporated to provide models that agencies can adapt for their own use.

In Spring 2003 the Guide was adopted by AASHTO. The FHWA has developed a companion, one-day training course based on the Guide, offered through the National Highway Institute.