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Taking the Politics Out of Paving: Achieving Transportation Asset Management Excellence Through Operations Research

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Date and Publication

2011: Interfaces, published by Informs, Vol 41, No. 1, pp. 51-65


Ugo Feunekes, Steve Palmer, Andrea Feunekes, John MacNaughton, Jay Cunningham, Kim Mathisen

Paper Summary

The New Brunswick Department of Transportation (NBDoT) maintains over 18,000 kilometers of roads, 2,900 bridges, various ferry crossings, and other assets. Because of its limited budget, NBDoT faced significant challenges in rehabilitating its infrastructure assets valued at several billion dollars. Its goal was to develop transparent, defensible, long-term plans for managing New Brunswick’s highway infrastructure, and secure commitment from decision makers and support from the public for these plans.

The operations research component of the asset management framework uses a unique combination of linear programming and heuristic techniques. The model incorporates long-term objectives and constraints from an operations perspective—it weighs all options; considers costs, timings, and asset life cycles; and produces optimal treatment plans and schedules of activities.

NBDoT anticipates $72 million (discounted) in annual savings, amounting to $1.4 billion (discounted) over the next 20 years. NBDoT has become a global leader in the field of asset management, and the success has attracted the attention of transportation officials around the world.

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