Preserving Vital Great Lakes Infrastructure: Assessment of Asset Management Activities in Great Lakes Ports

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2011

Primary Investigators

Jason Bittner and Teresa Adams, PhD
Wisconsin Transportation Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive, Rm 2205 Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Tel: (608) 262-7246


Ports are a critical part of the freight transportation system. Port infrastructure includes the channels, wharfs, berthing areas, warehouses, cranes and cargo handling equipment, storage yards, on-site roads and rail lines/spurs, administrative buildings, and security structures. Like other infrastructure systems in the nation, ports are showing need for redevelopment, restorative maintenance, and expansion. The growth in certain markets (grain exports and wind energy imports) have demanded improved infrastructure and services. This project will explore the current state of the practice with respect to asset management principles at Great Lakes Ports through both port operators and carrier perspectives, and provide training for Great Lakes ports officials on best management practices.


Identify current state of the practice for asset management for Great Lakes Ports. Help identify critical barriers to implementing asset management principles. Recommend strategies to implement asset management practices. Host workshop to communicate results.


  1. Synthesize literature related to Ports asset management and its adoption.
  2. Review Great Lakes Ports Planning Efforts and major infrastructure challenges.
  3. Complete interviews with port directors from across the Great Lakes region.
  4. Interview Great Lakes and Seaway terminal operators concerning port infrastructure
  5. Provide assessments of Great Lakes Ports efforts in comparison with other national and international port activities.
  6. Prepare educational and training materials for adoption of asset management at Great Lakes Ports.
  7. Host workshop for Great Lakes Ports on Asset Management.
  8. Prepare final reports and presentations.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: September 1, 2011 – August 31, 2012
  • Budget: $80,000 (with $20,000 in matching funds)
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Maritime
  • Project ID: CFIRE 05-14
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