Research Team: Alexander Skabardonis (lead), Ben McKeever, and Michael Mauch
UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley
Problem Statement: California’s SB 1 outlines multiple preliminary performance outcomes Caltrans must meet for additional state highway investments by the end of 2027. Specifically, SB 1 calls for “not less than 90 percent of the State’s transportation management system units to be in good condition”. This is a very broad statement that leaves a lot to be interpreted, defined and quantified prior to designing and executing a monitoring and implementation plan for meeting this SB 1 performance goal.
Project Description: This research project directly addresses the Caltrans policy question of “How to meet the SB 1 ten-year (2027) mandated preliminary performance outcomes for additional state highway investments?” More specifically, the study focuses on performance outcome number 4: “Not less than 90 percent of the transportation management system units in good condition”. As part of this project, the research team evaluated the Caltrans performance-based methodology to achieve the 90% performance goal in addition to completing a review of relevant reports from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), state departments of transportation, and Caltrans. The research team also conducted multiple meetings, phone calls and emails with Caltrans management. The research team found that the Caltrans Transportation Asset Management Plan, which governs its SB 1 implementation, follows FHWA guidance and published best asset management practices. Further, Caltrans has a solid asset management plan in place to meet the SB 1 target. The research team also provides several recommendations including but not limited to: 1) Caltrans should continue working on defining deterioration rates or models for transportation management systems (TMS), 2) state of being in “good condition” for TMS must be more clearly defined, 3) Caltrans should continue monitoring innovations in asset management, and 4) Caltrans should consider conducting more pilots of performance-based ITS maintenance.