Canadian Consulting Engineer

TAC report highlights performance-based asset management

November 8, 2021  By CCE

TAC report cover

A new report from the Ottawa-based Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), authored by Winnipeg-based MORR Transportation Consulting, aims to help government agencies make better, performance-based decisions involving their diverse infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, rail lines and garages.

As per its title, ‘Performance-Based Decision Making for Asset Management: Lessons Learned and Practitioner Toolkit,’ the report summarizes current practices, describes lessons learned by Canadian transportation agencies and offers ways for practitioners to make better asset management decisions. It can be downloaded from TAC’s website as a free PDF file.

The report’s findings are based on a review of more than 100 national and international publications on performance-based decision making, an online survey of TAC member agencies regarding their asset management programs, further interviews with agencies, a workshop to develop the tool kit and case studies to illustrate applications of cross-asset optimization, resource allocation and pavement management.

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As agencies face fiscal restraints and commit to improve accountability, TAC suggests the emerging field of performance-based decision making allows them to compare the value of investments in different types of assets and make more transparent choices in long-range plans and annual budgets, such as when dividing funds among projects to resurface roads, rehabilitate bridges or replace culverts. The agencies will need more information, however, including practical tools and case studies.

“This project highlighted how agencies can adopt performance-based methods to improve asset management and fiscal responsibility,” says James Smith, manager of technical programs and research for the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA), who co-chaired the report’s steering committee with Michael Bateman, rehabilitation program analyst for British Columbia’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure. “The processes, techniques and recommendations conveyed in the report will support agencies’ strategic goals. The tool kit will help them put applications from the report into practice.”


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