Making asset management work: Innovative components for successful implementation by local agencies in Michigan

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Although the concepts of transportation asset management are generic in nature, the adoption of asset management by local agencies (counties, county road commissions, cities, villages, towns, and townships) takes shape in as many ways as there are types of agencies. Asset management adoption brings about a melding of engineering, finance, and agency culture, with politics and accountability to the taxpaying public. Michigan is using an innovative approach to help local agencies incorporate the principles of asset management in their transportation management process-focusing first on pavements and later moving on to other assets. While most activities are not unique, innovation lies in bringing all activities together in a coordinated effort. This includes training opportunities for every level of stakeholder and providing the tools necessary for roadway data collection and asset management analysis. Early adopters are seeing direct results; others are at varying stages within the process of change. The benefits of adoption are noted by Tim O'Rourke, manager of the Rosscommon County, Michigan, Road Commission: "What you are really doing is telling a story. A story about levels of investment, a mix of maintenance fixes, and the condition of the road network in 10 years. It's a story people can understand." This paper details the components that have led to making local agency asset management work in Michigan and provides agency case examples.

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Transportation Research Record