Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT): Asset Management of Retaining Walls. PI Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, co-PIs Jerry Lynch and Dimitrios Zekkos. 2016.
The purpose of transportation asset management is to meet life-cycle performance goals (e.g., safety, mobility, preservation, economic impact and environmental stewardship) through the management of physical assets in the most cost-effective manner (FHWA, 2013). Geotechnical asset management can be incorporated into the broader practice of transportation asset management. Currently, many agencies manage geotechnical features on the basis of "worst-first" conditions, reacting to failures and incurring significant safety, mobility, environmental, and other intangible costs. Whereas, this may be an appropriate response for failures following natural hazards, 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 system life cycle. Retaining walls are one of the geotechnical features that can affect the transportation system's performance and must be appropriately risk managed. This proposal explores the development of a comprehensive risk management framework for the asset management of retaining wall structures. With a recent string of partially failed retaining walls throughout the MDOT inventory, this proposal provides MDOT with a rational and quantitative approach to assessing, analyzing and rating the risk profile of in-service retaining walls. The outcomes of the project will include: 1) novel instrumentation and analytical framework for MDOT use in their decision making processes; 2) modification of inspection methods and manuals that reflect the instrumentation strategies and risk analyses developed.