Infrastructure management agencies are facing multiple challenges, including aging infrastructure, reduction in capacity of existing infrastructure, and availability of limited funds. Therefore, decision makers are required to think innovatively and develop inventive ways of using available funds. Maintenance investment decisions are generally made based on physical condition only. It is important to understand that spending money on public infrastructure is synonymous with spending money on people themselves. This also requires consideration of decision parameters, in addition to physical condition, such as strategic importance, socioeconomic contribution and infrastructure utilization. Consideration of multiple decision parameters for infrastructure maintenance investments can be beneficial in case of limited funding. Given this motivation, this dissertation presents a prototype decision support framework to evaluate trade-off, among competing infrastructures, that are candidates for infrastructure maintenance, repair and rehabilitation investments.
Decision parameters’ performances measured through various factors are combined to determine the integrated state of an infrastructure using Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT). The integrated state, cost and benefit estimates of probable maintenance actions are utilized alongside expert opinion to develop transition probability and reward matrices for each probable maintenance action for a particular candidate infrastructure. These matrices are then used as an input to the Markov Decision Process (MDP) for the finite-stage dynamic programming model to perform project (candidate)-level analysis to determine optimized maintenance strategies based on reward maximization. The outcomes of project (candidate)-level analysis are then utilized to perform network-level analysis taking the portfolio management approach to determine a suitable portfolio under budgetary constraints. The major decision support outcomes of the prototype framework include performance trend curves, decision logic maps, and a network-level maintenance investment plan for the upcoming years. The framework has been implemented with a set of bridges considered as a network with the assistance of the Pima County DOT, AZ. It is expected that the concept of this prototype framework can help infrastructure management agencies better manage their available funds for maintenance.