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Development of Decision Support System for Highway Capital Planning in Alberta, Canada


Highway infrastructures represent one of the largest public investments, and they are a very significant factor for the nation’s advancement. Managing the resources to optimize the network performance and its level of service is one of the greatest challenges that face public agencies while having funding constraints. Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation (AIT) owns the provincial highway network that is worth a total value of approximately $19.2 billon. This includes 30,000 km highway and over 3,800 bridges that need to be managed. AIT will be investing approximately $1.0 billion annually over the next ten years to enhance its network level. This requires conducting analysis on long-term and short-term periods, and investigates the impacts of various decisions while incorporating engineering principles and business logic to optimize funding expenditures. To achieve this goal, AIT is currently developing a highway Capital Planning Decision Support System (NESS) that will assist solving this multi-objective dilemma in shortterm and long-term horizons. NESS is an engineering analysis tool that uses geometric design standards safety and level of service criteria to identify highway deficiencies for planning and design of highway capital improvement. The system will have the capacity to assess the safety efficiency, analyze cost effectiveness of various treatment options while achieving the optimal use of resources. The proposed system will recommend alternative activities that will incorporate risk analysis. This will assist to accomplish the overall benefit to the entire highway transportation system. The objective of this paper is to describe the Capital Planning Decision Support System concept and the proposed approach followed by Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation (AIT) to manage its highway network on a micro-level and subsequently a macro-level. This Decision Support System will incorporate expert knowledge, engineering principles, network physical conditions, geometric design, safety, level of service benchmarking, and funding aspects.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
El-Assaly, A
Ho, P
Kwan, A
Geometric design