Strategic International Expansion of Asset Management, Comprehensive Research on Development of Road Infrastructure Management Cycle and Its Application in Japan and Abroad

The "Comprehensive Research on Development of Road Infrastructure Management Cycle and Its Application in Japan and Abroad" project was started as a comprehensive research project within the "Infrastructure Maintenance, Renewal, and Management Technology" SIP project, with the aim of deploying infrastructure management technology both at home and abroad. In this project, both engineering technologies and social science technologies will be developed to create a cycle of maintenance planning, implementation, assessment, and improvements for road infrastructure at the bridge, wide-area road, and local government levels. Applied research will be promoted so that local governments and road administration entities can implement these technologies. Technical deployment overseas also should be possible, and routes to deployment in various countries in Asia will be developed. For the bridge concrete slabs that account for a large portion of the costs for road repairs and maintenance, data assimilation-type remaining life estimation methods that combine nondestructive testing with state-of-the-art structural materials engineering will be developed. Moreover, based on a life assessment of bridge girders, slabs and other individual road assets and pavements, the life cycle costs for wide-area road infrastructure systems will be assessed, an ideal method of drafting maintenance plans will be proposed, and an improvement cycle based on regular inspections will be put in place on a trial basis by local governments and road administration entities. These efforts will create new bidding and contract clause models that are viable for various local governments, as well as business models that will allow companies to participate in the maintenance business. Interested local governments will be solicited, and efforts will be made to establish a new PDCA cycle. The above approach will be used to develop paths for dynamic deployment in other Asian countries.

Sub Project #4: Strategic International Expansion of Asset Management
Japan has advanced infrastructure maintenance technologies and systems. However, information about these technologies and systems is not being strategically communicated and deployed to other countries. At present, individual technologies and systems are deployed sporadically and without comprehensive balance. Infrastructure asset management must deploy in a practical manner both (a) technologies for identification, assessment, prediction, and repair of deterioration and damage sustained by structures, and (b) the asset management systems for systematically coordinating these technologies. In order to deploy technologies and systems that can be implemented in other countries, it will be necessary to establish a center that encompasses both of these elements. Asian countries differ in terms of the degree of the completeness and health of their infrastructure and their economic viability, technical capacity, climate, and natural features. Accordingly, after promoting awareness of the importance of infrastructure management and the basic technical capabilities of the entire Asian region through general elements that can be applied in all countries, it will be necessary to provide customized elements as well, according to the circumstances in each locality. This sub-project will be deployed by focusing on the following three areas.

(a) Establishment of an Asian center as bases for communicating infrastructure asset management information
A center for the international deployment of infrastructure asset management will be set up at the International Center for Urban Safety Engineering (ICUS), the Institute of Industrial Science, at The University of Tokyo. This center will focus primarily on the collection, dissemination, and deployment of information in Asian countries. ICUS was established in 2001 following the establishment (in 1991) of the International Center for Disaster Mitigation Engineering (INCEDE). As one of the pillars of an international network, ICUS has held 12 "International Symposium on New Technologies for Urban Safety of Mega Cities in Asia (USMCA)," an independent international conference, and also has set up independent offices in Thailand and Bangladesh and implemented other activities in an effort to achieve the widespread deployment of technologies and systems relating to the safety of Asian cities. This project will be conducted in coordination with existing ICUS activities with the goal of establishing an effective international center for infrastructure asset management. We will collaborate with the Construction and Maintenance Technology Research Center (CONTEC) of the Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT) as our major partner for international deployment. Thailand has begun to develop a keen awareness of the importance of infrastructure maintenance and, compared to other countries in Asia, has a high level of technical capability with regard to infrastructure. Therefore, Thailand is thought to be a suitable country for the deployment of Japanese technologies and systems. In this study, a firm relationship will be established between ICUS and CONTEC, and the deployment of technologies and systems through CONTEC will be one of the main pillars of the program.
The situations in other countries, including those in Europe and North America, will be surveyed with a focus on centers that have been established, and an effort will be made to communicate and deploy information, as well as to provide matching sites for new international deployment. The annual international symposium will be the main venue for disseminating information. Name recognition can be increased by holding independent symposiums and the ICUS-sponsored USMCA conference, as well as co-sponsoring with the Asian Concrete Federation (ACF) the East Asia-Pacific Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction (EASEC) and other key international academic associations in Asia relating to structural engineering.

(b) Assessment of infrastructure development and maintenance organizations in Asia
Guidelines will be established for comparing the infrastructure development level, the degree of deterioration, and the degree to which maintenance systems have been established in each country of Asia. The combination of these guidelines will be used for assessing the degree of infrastructure maturity. The results will be visualized and shared in an effort to increase awareness of the importance of infrastructure asset management. The countries of Asia vary considerably in terms of the degree of infrastructure construction and the progress of deterioration. Almost all developing countries have little awareness of the importance of maintenance. Accordingly, in order to deploy infrastructure asset management internationally, it will be important to determine the situation in each country and share this information. Using primarily the data made public in each country, the status of roads in terms of the degree of completeness of the road network, the number of bridges, the closure of roads to traffic, the number of damaged bridges, the repair rate, etc., will be determined. Moreover, the inspection methods used for maintenance and the implementation rate, data management and use, engineer training, and other aspects of the maintenance organization will be investigated and determined. In the United States, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues an Infrastructure Report Card. In Japan, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers is developing a report card for infrastructure. These examples will be used as a reference for expanding efforts to establish guidelines that include the degree of completion, the degree of deterioration, and the management structure. This will make it possible to determine the overall situation in Asia, improve awareness of the importance of infrastructure asset management through mutual comparison, and heighten interest in technologies and systems.

(c) Development and international standardization of technologies and systems suited to individual Asian countries
Technical development and systems that are suited to the socioeconomic status, infrastructure development level, technical capabilities, etc., of each Asian country will be studied, and maintenance data will be analyzed with a focus on Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and India. Research into infrastructure management for concrete structures, in particular, will incorporate the management technologies proposed in this project into a new draft international standard at TC 71 (Concrete, reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with the ultimate aim of formulating an international standard for infrastructure management.