Asset management plays a vital role to help minimize unnecessary or misplaced spending while meeting the health and environmental needs of a community. The goal is to provide strategic continuous maintenance to the infrastructure before total failure occurs. Costs should be well distributed over the life of the asset to help avoid emergency repairs. Emergency repairs can cost up to multiple times the cost of a planned repair. Therefore the ultimate goal of asset management is to provide quality, economical infrastructure by identifying the system’s needs and addressing the needs appropriately. At some point repairs cost more than replacement, or technology may make repairs obsolete.
An asset management program should be developed accordingly to the client’s goals and objectives. It consists of determining the selected area of study, type of system and the quality of data used for evaluation (see Figure 1). Before a condition assessment can be determined, an inventory of assets needs to be established. Depending on the accuracy wanted, the data can be gathered in many ways ranging from onsite field investigation which could take a lot of time, to using existing maps, using maps while verifying the structures using aerial photography and video, or field investigations. Not doing destructive testing is important to reduce costs. The question is how you do it. One project we did was the downtown area of Dania Beach. You can see the areas that are a problem.