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New Transportation Asset Management Plan Out for Public Comment

Plan Shows Stark Differences in Future Highway Conditions With & Without SB 1 Funding

Date: November 3, 2017
District: Headquarters
Contact: Vanessa Wiseman
Phone: (916) 654-2936
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

SACRAMENTO — Caltrans has released for public comment the draft California Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP), a new data-driven policy that will inform future investment decisions for maintaining California’s highway infrastructure today and into the future. The TAMP lays out substantial performance targets for California’s transportation system, but shows that California will be on track to meet those targets, thanks to the impact of anticipated funds from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1).

"The snapshot given in the TAMP shows what years of deferred maintenance and underfunding have done to California's transportation infrastructure. Fortunately, the TAMP also illustrates that we can get our infrastructure system back on track thanks to the help of anticipated SB 1 funding."

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans

The TAMP is California’s new asset management-based framework for investment decisions, representing a move from a "silo" based project funding approach to a system-wide assessment and a performance driven approach to investment. This system-wide assessment using asset management provides an alternative approach in which agencies strike a balance between reconstructing parts of the transportation system in poor condition and preserving those in good condition so that they do not become poor. This balanced approach extends the useful lives of the state’s transportation assets and is more cost-effective in the long run.

Data-driven and goal-oriented investment choices are key foundations of the TAMP. The document summarizes the current inventory of transportation assets such as roads and bridges and details their condition. From there, it lays out performance targets for these assets based on requirements set both by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and California law. The investment decisions that will be made to meet defined performance targets take into consideration all the costs associated with those assets over the course of their life cycle, from design to upkeep.

The additional investment in infrastructure preservation provided by SB 1 is crucial to attaining the ambitious performance targets mandated for the TAMP. The plan lays out several transportation funding scenarios—including one representing funding levels prior to the passage of SB 1 and another that reflects the impact of SB 1—and projects the impact of those funding levels over the next 10 years. Those projections show that, with SB 1 funding, California will be on track to achieve its asset condition targets.

The scope of the plan includes the assets on two overlapping highway systems: the State Highway System (SHS) and the National Highway System (NHS). The SHS is the highway system managed by Caltrans that includes all Interstate and State Highways. The NHS includes portions of the SHS, as well as roads and bridges managed by California cities' and counties' transportation agencies. Roads on the NHS are defined by the FHWA to be important to the nation’s economy, defense and mobility.

FHWA requirements dictate that the TAMP includes all NHS pavements and bridges. State guidelines from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) require that the California TAMP include not only the condition of pavement and bridges on the SHS, but culverts and traffic management system elements, as well as information pertaining to nine supplementary asset classes.

Throughout the process of developing the California TAMP, workshops were held with stakeholders that are responsible for parts of the NHS. The TAMP process and the development of asset management performance targets on the SHS and local NHS systems to evaluate scenarios and financial investments was an opportunity to improve coordination across agencies to deliver a better transportation system and experience to Californians. The TAMP will be the first integrated performance-based asset management plan for California.

Additionally, SB 1 is already being put to use by Caltrans. The department broke ground on 13 pavement projects across the state this summer and is expediting the design of an additional 50 projects that will break ground over the next year. To date, Caltrans has advanced more than $5 billion in “fix-it-first” projects for earlier completion because of SB 1.

The draft TAMP can be read and comments submitted at Comments are due by November 24, 2017. The final version of the TAMP will be submitted to FHWA in April 2018 for compliance with federal requirements.

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