2010 Edelman Finalist New Brunswick DOT

New Brunswick Dept. of Transportation - Taking the Politics out of Paving: Achieving Transportation Asset Management through O.R.

The New Brunswick Department of Transportation (NBDoT) maintains over 18,000 kilometers of roads, 2,900 bridges and various ferry crossings and other assets. The organization faced significant challenges in rehabilitating its billions of dollars in infrastructure assets and maintaining a safe and effective transportation system with a very limited budget. Their goal was to develop long-term plans for managing New Brunswick's highway infrastructure that were transparent and defensible, enabling buy-in from decision makers and support from the public. The O.R. component of the framework uses a unique combination of linear programming and heuristic techniques for a goals-based approach. The model incorporates long-term objectives and constraints from an operations-wide view that weighs all options, costs, timings and asset life-cycles to produce optimal treatments plans. Results of the initial analysis offered the substantiation required to secure increased funding which helped address the growing infrastructure deficit, allowed NBDoT to maintain levels of service, and assisted the local road-building industry by stabilizing funding. NBDoT anticipates $72 million (discounted) in annual savings, amounting to $1.4 billion (discounted) over the next 20 years. The solution provides the capability to commit to long term decisions, and has removed politics from the decision-making process because the consequences of deviating from the optimized plan can be easily quantified and communicated. Future program development capital budgets will see highway fixtures and ferries added to the model. The Department of Transportation has become a global leader in the field of asset management, and the success has attracted the attention of transportation officials around the world.