Strategies for Asset Management of Environmental Mitigation Features
Construction and Maintenance Practices
Environmental Process, Natural Resources
Research Idea Scope
TERI Database Administrator Notes: Funded under NCHRP 25-25 (51)
State departments of transportation have constructed many environmental mitigation projects in conjunction with transportation projects that have been implemented pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Other mitigation projects have been constructed pursuant to conditions of permits, such as Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permits. These mitigation projects are usually intended to offset or replace a certain environmental function(s) that was lost as a result of construction of the transportation project. Examples include storm water management facilities, wetland replacement projects, stream restoration projects, reforestation projects, construction of sound walls, replacement of parklands and wildlife crossing structures.
In order for the environmental mitigation projects to continue to provide the long term functionality that was intended when they were first constructed, they must be properly maintained, and when necessary rehabilitated or reconstructed. These environmental mitigation projects should be considered to be assets, just as more traditional highway elements such as pavements, bridges and drainage structures are considered assets, and as such their maintenance and long term preservation lend themselves to an asset management approach. Failure to properly maintain the functionality of these resources can result in violations of project specific NEPA or permit conditions or violations of programmatic legal requirements such as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. Failure to properly maintain these facilities can also seriously jeopardize state DOTs’ credibility when future mitigation projects are proposed.
Several states are beginning to use an asset management approach for inventorying the condition of environmental mitigation features and making decisions on maintenance and capital improvement needs for these features. The proposed research would inventory best practices in environmental mitigation feature asset management, develop and refine key considerations in applying asset management techniques for various types of environmental mitigation features, and propose steps that owners of these features should undertake in developing asset management systems for the various types of environmental features.
TERI Administrator Note (2/18/08): Submitted to NCHRP for FY09 funding consideration
AASHTO Subcommittee on Asset Management