The Central Federal Lands (CFL) division of the FHWA has published a new manual on Geotechnical Asset Management. Here’s the abstract:
The purpose of transportation asset management is to meet life-cycle performance goals (safety, mobility, preservation, economics, and environmental aspects) through the management of physical assets in the most cost-effective manner. Geotechnical asset management can be incorporated into the broader practice of transportation asset management. Currently, most agencies manage geotechnical features on the basis of "worstfirst" conditions, reacting to failures and incurring significant safety, mobility, environmental, and intangible costs. The goal of geotechnical asset management is to implement project planning and selection on the basis of "most-at-risk" for the asset class with consideration of collective and site specific risks throughout the life cycle. Geotechnical features that can affect the performance of a transportation system include retaining walls, unstable slopes, rockfall sites, embankments, and tunnels. These features can be treated as physical assets of the system and managed like other assets of the system. While not every geotechnical feature exists in agency, those that do can be combined into a single asset class to simplify asset management procedures. Although likely on the high end of expectation, some studies indicate a life-cycle cost savings of up to 60 to 80 percent after the implementation of geotechnical asset management. The geotechnical asset management plan should be based on agency performance goals and integrate risk and life-cycle analysis. It is important to note geotechnical asset management will only be successful when all features that create risk are included. Risk management allows for the probability and consequences of events to be evaluated, which is essential for the integration with agency performance goals. Federal Land Management Agencies can implement geotechnical asset management with a relatively modest investment and using existing resources to assess geotechnical features in a multi-tier, riskbased approach. There is an agency cost associated with inaction on geotechnical asset management.