Asset Management

Maintaining well-functioning transportation infrastructure requires regular monitoring and data collection. Given that roads, culverts, sidewalks, and other types of infrastructure can be widely distributed throughout a municipality’s jurisdiction, tracking asset conditions can pose a substantial challenge. SWRPC can provide technical assistance on a range of asset management issues, helping communities plan for future maintenance and improvements. SWRPC and the other NH regional planning commissions have a partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and the University of New Hampshire Technology Transfer Center (UNHT2) to conduct best practices asset management through what is called the Statewide Asset Data Exchange System (SADES). SWRPC member communities are assisted on a first come first served basis as resources are available. A local match is typically required. Our current asset management-related activities and services are described below.

For many municipalities road surfaces are one of the largest single costs of maintaining and building a transportation system, and investing in roads when they are in good condition costs a fraction of rebuilding a road that has deteriorated to poor condition.

Road surface management is the application of a pavement management analysis system, which includes establishing budgets, surveying condition data, and considering repair strategies to assist local governments in maintaining their paved roads. The purpose of a road surface management system (RSMS) is to ensure that cost-effective decisions are being made regarding roadway maintenance.

Recently, NHDOT worked with UNHT2 to create a RSMS platform, called the SADES. After successfully piloting the platform SWRPC is pleased to extend this service to communities throughout Southwest New Hampshire.

As part of the process, SWRPC collects data about road surface conditions and then works with the town highway department, public works department, or road agent to explore different maintenance, rehabilitation or repair scenarios for individual roads.

Roadway surface data that describes the extent and severity of pavement distress is used to create a segment by segment score of pavement condition, as well as an overall picture of the road network’s pavement condition. This information, along with local input around treatment preferences, budgets, as well as assessments of traffic and road importance, are used to create a plan of repairs through a scenario planning tool.

The scenario planning software allows SWRPC to provide information about comparative treatment costs and the anticipated longevity of a treatment strategy over a ten-year period. Municipalities can use this information to inform their capital improvement planning process for their local road network. The plan should be updated at least every five years and be based on a new evaluation of pavement condition.

Riverine flooding is a common occurrence in New Hampshire and extreme natural events have recently resulted in widespread and costly infrastructure damage. Both statewide events and more localized flooding highlight the susceptibility of our landscapes to erosion, bank failure, culvert and road washouts, and other hazards.

An inventory of culverts and road/stream crossings can help a community understand where vulnerabilities to flooding and extreme weather exist. Such inventories can also help a community better understand whether culverts and road/stream crossing might be impeding the movement of aquatic wildlife.

SWRPC has completed hundreds of stream crossing assessments throughout Southwest NH. To date, SWRPC has worked with several municipalities, and the region’s Department of Transportation maintenance district on inventories of both drainage and stream crossings. Typical inventory activities include:

  • An assessment of public stream, drainage and wetland crossings of town-owned and maintained road segments.
  • Geospatial and tabular databases and summary reports documenting structural attributes and conditions including maps and photographs.
  • A map book and/or poster depicting the location of crossings.
  • Advice and consultation to town staff and officials wishing to make use of collected information.
  • Information regarding the relative susceptibility of stream crossings to extreme precipitation events.
  • The identification of stream crossings with inadequate fish and aquatic organism passage.

SWRPC collects information on sidewalks, curb ramps and crosswalks, including their physical characteristics and condition. We can then leverage this data to help municipalities plan for improvements.