Approved by the Transportation Policy Committee on April 18, 2023
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on August 23, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 17, 2023
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports a seamless multimodal transportation system to that effectively meets the mobility needs of both people and freight. ASCE also encourages a strong federal leadership role in the advancement of safe and effective transportation operations and management practices to enhance system performance, and to support maintenance practices needed to preserve our transportation investments. The U.S. Department of Transportation must play a leading role in exploring and promoting best practices related to asset management and innovative funding and financing options for system performance and maintenance.
Federal surface transportation legislation should include support for the following areas:
- Collaborating with and assisting state and local entities in accomplishing related goals through education and training at all levels.
- Providing flexible funding options, direct funding opportunities to local and regional agencies, and simpler funding processes that
- Promoting best practices in asset management to decrease life-cycle costs and to maintain transportation systems in a state of good repair.
- Partnering with state, local, and private agencies in the research, development, and deployment of advanced technologies that advances and accelerates the development and implementation of better tools and best practices.
- Supporting the creation and assessment of safety, disaster recovery, and security preparedness plans that align with federal priorities.
- Conducting vulnerability assessments and establishing system resiliency that improve transportation system performance and homeland security.
- Encouraging public-private partnerships to advance innovative technologies throughout the research, development, and implementation stages of projects.
There is a current need for an increased focus on transportation safety, operations management, and maintenance at all levels of government. This need embodies the following:
- Escalating costs of maintenance and replacement due to the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure.
- The need for asset management strategies to decrease life-cycle costs and extend the useful life of transportation systems.
- Growing congestion and incident problems degrade the performance of the nation’s transportation system.
- The rising construction costs and supply-chain challenges are placing a premium on the maintenance and improvement of the existing transportation system.
New technology is already providing improvements in system operation and management, and advancements in connected and autonomous vehicles may provide significant new opportunities for improvement in overall system performance. The federal government must play a role in ensuring that infrastructure needs to support these technologies (e.g., communications, data, roadside features, traffic control devices) are common to all providers and consistent between technologies, and actively work toward deployment of systems necessary to support this technology on facilities in all jurisdictions.
Customers have a strong desire for travel choices, timely information, and increased reliability to meet their mobility needs. Freight movement also requires a seamless transition between public and privately owned systems. Partnerships between private and public entities will be needed to support travel choice and for efficient transition between travel modes.
Homeland security and disaster preparedness requires an efficient and responsive transportation system. Transportation operations and homeland security can benefit from joint planning and sharing of resources such as communications infrastructure and traffic control operations.
An increased focus on transportation operations and management can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation systems. Proper levels of facility maintenance will serve to ensure continued service and reliability, thereby preserving the integrity of all components while protecting the investments made in the development of transportation infrastructure. An integrated approach to the application of advanced technologies will result in a safer and more efficient transportation system for the movement of people and freight.
ASCE Policy Statement 495
First Approved in 2002