By using a relatively new technology, mobile Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and imagery, MnDOT obtained accurate roadway data in a safe and efficient manner. Using a manual extraction technique, MnDOT created a Geographic Information System (GIS) inventory of geospatial coordinate locations, asset attributes, and condition data for plate beam guardrails and concrete barriers. The LiDAR data was utilized for internal communication and visual rendering and will be used in the future to assist with roadway design. The project challenges were mostly technical in nature and highlight the importance of having a clear quality assurance/quality control process. The benefits of the project include, but are not limited to: calculating barrier replacement costs, scoping and budgeting future projects based on condition and future fed/state standard changes, allowing for better planning of maintenance activities, utilizing the imagery to extract other assets, and construction cost savings due to increased design accuracy.
This Resource Guide is an updated version of Chapter 3 from 2016-34A.
In order to successfully maintain and manage the County’s roadway system, county engineers need to be aware of the myriad of decision-making resources available, and how to apply these resources to maximize returns on their investment. Numerous tools and resources exist to aid local agencies in managing their roadways. While some are very well known and widely used, others have not been implemented or are not being used to their full potential. The objective of this chapter is to present a compilation of key decision-making tools that can assist practitioners to make the best decisions possible concerning the maintenance of their transportation network.
The following 11 methods, tools, database, etc., were identified as effective resources by the pilot county engineers:
• Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) Data
• Pavement Condition Data
• MnDOT Pathway Services Pathweb Viewer Application (Pathweb)
• Pavement (or Asset) Management System
• Traffic Data and Forecasting
• MnDOT Needs Database/Spreadsheets
• Geographical Information Systems (GIS): Base Maps and Data Sets
• Minnesota Crash Mapping Analysis Tool 2 (MnCMAT2)
• Transportation Plans
• Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UPGTI) Geographic Roadway Inventory Tool (GRIT)
• Best Practices: Managing Interaction between Local Authorities and Major Traffic Generators
NOTE: A spreadsheet tool is available as an Excel macro file and may be accessed from
Asset management is critical for local and state governments to track assets and plan for maintenance of assets that will provide the greatest return on investment (ROI) for the agency. The use of geographic information system (GIS) applications, tools and geospatial data can provide agencies with the most accurate inventory of assets, a basis to determine and maintain condition, cost-effective mobile tracking and maintenance of assets such as signs, culverts, roads and bridges, and reporting tools to justify asset expenditures. However, challenges such as agency size and location, access to accurate and timely geospatial data, and lack of information about the best data processes, applications and tools to use limits local agency use of GIS for asset management.
A Minnesota Local Road Research Board project examined current local agency practices and reviewed existing mobile technologies to recommend best practices for the efficient, cost-effective use of GIS mobile technology for better managing agency assets. This Quick Start Guide offers brief synopses of the three case studies appearing in the project’s final report and highlights five software options used by Minnesota local agencies.
This spreadsheet tool is designed to be a data management resource for county engineering offices to better track and manage gravel roads. This spreadsheet can be used as an inventory tool, providing one location for keeping all maintenance and construction data about a gravel road system. It can also be used to track costs and optimize spending. The tool was developed to be flexible and customizable for a variety of purposes and system sizes.
This spreadsheet tool pertains to Report 2019RIC03, Gravel Road Management Spreadsheet Tool. It is designed to be a data management resource for county engineering offices to better track and manage gravel roads. This spreadsheet can be used as an inventory tool, providing one location for keeping all maintenance and construction data about a gravel road system.
It can also be used to track costs and optimize spending. The tool was developed to be flexible and customizable for a variety of purposes and system sizes. Default values are included in the drop down selections in the various columns. However, users have the ability to change the options included in the drop down boxes by making edits in the red tab "Agency Dropdown Customization."