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Goal 3: Asset Management

Section of Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) Strategic Plan "Moving to Our Future" (2019-2024). Goal 3 - Asset Management: Deliver smart investments to maintain our transportation system. Originally published 2019. Revised 2023.
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What's New

Clearly defined performance outcomes and measures

When adopted in 2019, the Strategic Plan included example outcomes and measures for each goal area. In 2021, as part of a midway progress report, staff refined these outcomes and analyzed data for key performance measures related to each goal.

Table showing the 2 asset management outcomes and associated performance measures
Asset Management Outcomes and Measures

Reprioritized outcomes and initiatives

Looking at data trends for these outcomes and measures, we see that our asset unmet need continues to grow while demands on our system and need for new infrastructure also increase. We need to simultaneously reduce our unfunded maintenance liability while making smart investments that expand options and access, without unsustainably increasing our maintenance obligations. Across individual asset classes, we lack strategies for funding improvements, preventative maintenance, and prioritizing investments, while we also bring on new assets to address rising demands. We have critical data gaps that make addressing these challenges difficult.

Objectives and initiatives in our plan have been revised to reflect these trends, work completed to date, and resource and capacity realities in 2023. 

Overview of Goal 3 - Asset Management

Delivering smart investments to maintain our transportation system

Every day, Portlanders rely on our streets and other transportation assets to get where they need to go.

These assets are valued at $19.7 billion (as of 2023) and include: over 100,000 street signs; tens of thousands of streetlights and curb ramps; thousands of miles of streets; thousands of signals and bike racks; hundreds of bridges and retaining walls; hundreds of miles of bikeways; a dozen streetcars; six parking garages; and one aerial tram. Operating, maintaining, and planning for the upkeep of these assets is a 24/7 job and involves staff from all of PBOT’s six primary business groups. 

To support a prosperous city where all Portlanders can get around safely, easily, and sustainably, PBOT must fix the city’s crumbling and substandard infrastructure. Several factors make this challenging. First, population growth has put more stress on our transportation system. Second, funding has not kept pace with what we need to maintain the system we have. 

New funding in recent years is a step forward, but still insufficient to see a long-term, dramatic improvement or address our existing deficiencies. The result? PBOT currently faces a maintenance obligation of $3.5 billion, the majority of which has no committed funding. Continuing to defer the bulk of this obligation costs Portlanders more because providing maintenance on a deteriorating system costs more. What does this deferred maintenance look like? It looks like potholes, streetlight outages, temporary road closures, and other challenges that Portlanders encounter on their daily trips. 

PBOT is committed to reversing this trend and dramatically shrinking its growing unfunded maintenance liability. But we know that we cannot rely on funding alone. To this end, we will use the next three years to improve our bureau’s approach to building, preserving, and repairing our transportation infrastructure. In Moving to Our Future, we outline the way we will focus on this by improving how we manage our assets and by implementing modern, data-driven tools, programs, and policies. These advancements will allow PBOT to maximize our current funding across our assets, and to deliver a better-maintained, safer, and more reliable transportation system at a lower cost to Portlanders. 

Objective 1: Use criticality to prioritize asset replacement

Strategic Initiatives

  • As part of the annual cadence of reviewing PBOT’s Risk Register, define likelihood and consequence framework and conduct criticality analysis of major assets.
  • Use cost-benefit considerations and business-case analyses to improve the quality and confidence of prioritization efforts

Objective 2: Improve quality, completeness, and accessibility of asset management related information

Gather and manage data that helps guide investment, avoid risk, and make informed decisions.

Strategic Initiatives

  • Incorporate standard lifecycle costs and maintenance plans into Maintenance Operations’ strategic planning and operations.
  • Continue iterations of capital improvement project asset maintenance estimates as part of the new asset onboarding improvements.
  • Expand on State of Good Repair efforts to include lifecycle costs and standard lifecycle maintenance plans for most critical assets.
  • Identify opportunities to improve asset data in PBOT source systems (StreetSaver, RoadRunner, GIS, Maximo).

Objective 3: Advance the objectives and tactics in the Maintenance Operations Strategic Plan

Strategic Initiatives

  • Continue to improve the quality of data related to categorizing Maintenance Operations work orders.
  • Incorporate best practices for proactive and predictive work planning as well as community input into the Maintenance Operations Strategic Plan.
  • Update emergency response plans.

Objective 4: Establish dedicated funding for essential and preventative asset maintenance

Strategic Initiatives 

  • Complete the street-damage study and implement strategies to recover damages from pavement cuts.

Objective 5: Increase understanding of asset management roles, responsibilities, and goals.

Strategic Initiatives 

  • Establish an agency-wide strategic asset management plan
  • Increase PBOT’s participation in trainings led by the Citywide Asset Management Group (CAMG)- led trainings on asset management principles.
  • Continue improving the quality and completeness of annual reporting, including year-over -year progress towards identified performance goals
  • Implement a reorganization of asset-related information on external PBOT website to improve accessibility and transparency.

Download the full plan