Innovative Approach to the Development of a Strategic Plan for the Alaska Highway
St. Michel, Gary R.
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The author's consulting company was retained by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) in 2013 to develop a comprehensive strategic asset management plan (AMP) that outlines the strategy for capital projects and long term management of the 800 km (500 mi) portion of the Alaska Highway through British Columbia. There has been a concerted effort in the past to improve this original road to make it safer, increase capacity, accommodate increasing highway speeds, and permit larger commercial loads. This paper will highlight the key features of this project focusing on the benefits derived by PWGSC, namely: The development of a GIS for the Alaska Highway; Development of a strategic AMP concentrating on improving safety, preserving existing assets, upgrading the highway and bridges/culverts where necessary; Identification of major asset works for 50 years using life cycle cost analysis; Development of engineering economics to include as benefits the reduction of: accident costs, user delay costs, user detour costs, user vehicle operating costs, environmental costs associated with greenhouse gas emissions at current carbon trading rates and cost of risk for bridges/culverts; Development of risk assessment and mitigation measures; Perform life-cycle cost analysis comparing multiple pavement preservation, geometric upgrades and bridge/culvert works, and; Development of a risk based Bridge Management System. The work described in this paper represents a methodology for corridor or network wide cross asset optimization where the benefits of renewal or preservation of each asset class can be fairly compared in terms of the combined agency and road user financial benefits.