Infrastructure Management

 

This Southern California road has seen better days

Infrastructure management is the practice of proactively managing and  maintaining infrastructure assets in an effort to maximize cost-effectiveness.  Infrastructure assets consist of any assets that are installed, maintained, or replaced on a regular basis.  Some examples of infrastructure assets are:

  1. Road Pavements
  2. Curbs, Gutters, and Sidewalks
  3. Playground Equipment and Materials
  4. Water and Sewer Lines
  5. Sewer Infrastructure
  6. Storm Drain Infrastructure
  7. Traffic Signs and Signals
  8. Fiber optic lines, conduit, and vaults
  9. Pavement Markings and Striping
  10. Trees

Many agencies consider postponing managing infrastructure such as roads in tough economic times like these. Others feel that it is better to just use the funds for road maintenance itself. However, for a fraction of the overall capital improvement program (CIP) budget, an agency can more than pay for management costs by optimizing maintenance materials, methods, and budget scenarios over time.

An effective asset management program (AMP) will help to save on short-term replacement and maintenance costs and will extend the life of the infrastructure assets themselves – which in turn reduces long-term maintenance costs. Moreover, implementing an effective AMP will help agencies to comply with various state and federal funding programs that require a management program to be in place and maintained on a regular basis.

Key Benefits

  • Provides cost savings for infrastructure asset maintenance
  • Reduces potential losses from trip and fall lawsuits
  • Streamlines reporting for GASB 34 compliance
  • Improves the life and quality of infrastructure assets

Mobile GPS Mapping of Assets

Image courtesy of LambdaTech International

Using the latest in mobile GPS technology, infrastructure assets located within the public right-of-way can be digitally photographed on the fly and geographically mapped on a PC.  This methodology is an excellent alternative to time-consuming and more costly GPS back-pack methods.

Greater cost savings are experienced as the number of asset types collected increases. Collection of other assets involves putting a CD or DVD back into the computer, rather than sending technicians back into the field for another round of collecting GPS coordinates.

Points, lines, and polygons can be collected using this technology, making it a flexible means for collecting assets such as traffic signs and signals, pavement striping and markings, and pavement distresses such as potholes, rutting, corrugation, and alligator and linear cracks.  The mobile GPS vans also have the ability to be outfitted for use on railroad tracks.

The latest in mobile GPS technology boasts sub-meter accuracy and the cost per point can be as low as $2.00, depending on the number of attributes collected.  Compare this cost to $7-$10 per point using a GPS back-pack, and you can see why mobile GPS is an excellent choice for collecting GPS coordinates for assets.

Field Data Collection

Specialized software can be used for various forms of data collection in the field.  This method of collecting infrastructure information is highly flexible and allows the user to collect assets beyond the public right-of-way or other places the GPS vehicle can’t reach. Custom data entry forms can also be created – making it a flexible option for nearly any data collection project.