Austroads: Transport Research and Trends

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Transitions Between Steel Beam and Concrete Barriers

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A transition in a safety barrier system is a short section between a more flexible system and a less flexible system to decrease the flexibility gradually along its length. At present there are various transition designs being used by road agencies.

This webinar describes the development, testing and evaluation of a proposed Australasian transition from a strong post public domain W-beam to a concrete barrier.

Presented by Rod Troutbeck, Daniel A. Naish and Jade Hogan.

Road Space Allocation for Pedestrians

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Austroads’ review of the pedestrian planning and design guidance in the Guide to Traffic Management (AGTM) and Guide to Road Design (AGRD) identified a total of 120 planning and design gaps. Recommended changes to the AGTM were published in April 2020 followed by a series of exceptionally popular webinars.

Recommended changes to the AGRD have been reviewed and approved by the Road Design Task Force and will find their way into the AGRD as part of its update and restructure planned by the Road Safety & Design program in FY20-21.

This is the first session in the series of webinars to step practitioners through the updated pedestrian planning and design information. It presents how to ensure pedestrians are catered for appropriately in road cross sections, and where to find that information in the Austroads guides.

The webinar is presented by Ann-Marie Head and Jeanette Ward on 9 February 2021.

Opportunities to Build Capacity in Traffic Management

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An Austroads study of Australian and New Zealand roads capability (AP-R574-18) identified capability/learning gaps amongst graduates and novice practitioners in traffic management. The 2018 study also confirmed that road agencies are experiencing skill shortages and the existing roads workforce will be under threat from rising activity in other sectors.

To address this recognised lack of traffic management knowledge and skills, a series of ‘short and sharp’ learning modules were developed on a range of fundamental traffic management topics.

The learning modules were developed in collaboration with Austroads member agencies and informed by user testing with young practitioners.

Designed for practitioners entering the field and anyone who wishes to increase their knowledge and improve their capabilities in traffic management, the learning modules cover 21 topics and contain supporting quizzes and tutorials. The units include an Introduction to Traffic Management, Traffic Theory, Studies and Analysis, Network Operations Planning and Management, the Safe System Approach and Intelligent Transport Systems.

This webinar discusses the selection of traffic management topics covered in the learning modules and the processes involved in their development and testing. It demonstrates the learning modules and shows how to access them from the Austroads website.

Presented by Paul Bennett and Graham McCabe.

Development of Design Procedures for Lightly Bound Cemented Materials in Flexible Pavements

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The addition of a small amount of cementitious binder to non-standard granular materials may result in a fit for purpose base or subbase at a significantly lower cost than crushed rock complying with standard specifications. Such lightly bound cemented (LBC) materials have particular use in pavement rehabilitation and heavy patching as they are less susceptible to block cracking and crocodile cracking than cemented materials.

The binder content and strength of LBC materials are significantly lower than heavily bound cemented (HBC) materials. Austroads’ recent report, which reviewed the performance of selected Queensland pavements with LBC bases, has shown that it is possible to design and construct a low-strength material with base thickness and subbase support sufficient to limit the extent of the micro cracking development that leads to macro-cracking.

Considering the use and performance of LBC for moderate to heavily trafficked roads, a structural design method was developed for pavements containing LBC materials and HBC materials in the post fatigue cracking phase of life, including:

  • A new elastic characterisation method, applicable to LBC materials and HBC materials in the fatigue cracked state, including methods to vary the design modulus according to the design modulus of the layer supporting the cracked material and the thickness and modulus of the overlying bound materials.
  • Design charts to select LBC base thicknesses to inhibit the development of block cracking and crocodile cracking, with the minimum thickness varying with design traffic loading and the support provided by the layer under the LBC base.

This webinar, presented by Dr Geoff Jameson and Dr James Grenfell, explains the structural design method in detail, including its development and application.

Improved Guidance on Interrupted Traffic Flow Theory

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Austroads has recently completed a project to review and propose improvements to the guidance on interrupted traffic flow theory contained within the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management (AGTM), Part 2 and Part 3. The updates will broaden practitioners’ understanding of interrupted traffic flow theory and enable them to manage congestion on road networks more effectively.

This webinar, presented by Mark Plattz and Emily Plath, will equip practitioners with the knowledge of the existing topics and emerging best practice in the assessment of simple and complex traffic scenarios in an Australasian context.

Presenters outline the work undertaken during the project and detail the proposed changes to Part 2 and Part 3 of the Guide to Traffic Management. The key areas that have been identified for development in AGTM Part 2 and Part 3 include bottlenecks, travel time reliability, roundabout theory, analysis of signalised intersections, active transportation and demand management, multi-modal considerations and traffic flow impacts of heavy vehicles.

Best-Practice Approaches to Road Freight and Communities

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The freight industry is critical to the Australian and New Zealand economies. It comprises road, rail, sea and air transportation including supporting services such as warehousing, storage, freight forwarding and customs brokerage for both domestic and international trade.

As the freight task grows and perceptions of its impact increases, governments face increased community pressure that can lead to restrictions on freight operations. This creates the need for communication campaigns towards the community on the significance and value of freight whilst understanding and addressing possible community concerns.

Austroads commissioned research on ‘Best-Practice Approaches to Road Freight and Communities’ to develop guidelines for best-practice strategies and supporting materials for national, state/territory and local road managers to communicate the importance of freight to the community.

In this webinar, held on 26 November 2020, Drew Gaynor, Anthony Fisk, Christina Chin and Jack Doyle present the key findings of the review, focusing on:

- The importance of the Social Licence to Operate concept.
- The development of the communications strategy encompassing the three levels of campaigns.
- The ‘toolkits’ developed to guide road managers on the necessary steps required to undertake a campaign and the communication tools to inform and engage with the community.

Outcomes from the Long-Term Monitoring of Austroads Sprayed Seal Trials

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Flexible granular pavements protected by sprayed seal surfacings are the backbone of the Australian and New Zealand road networks. Road agencies in Australia and New Zealand have therefore been focused on producing quality, long-lasting sprayed seal surfacings. Such efforts include conducting research into bituminous binders as a key component of sprayed seals.

A landmark achievement in this area was the Austroads sprayed seal trial sites at Coober Pedy in South Australia and Cooma in New South Wales. These trials were established to evaluate the relative performance of seals constructed using various grades of binders, from their placement through to long-term service. This was a significant research investment made to ensure that the national specifications and test methods that are used for the procurement of sealing binders are contemporary and robust, and incorporate performance requirements to ensure that the bituminous binders that are being procured are of suitable quality and are not prone to premature ageing.

This webinar presents the outcomes of the Austroads research project which was conducted to monitor the performance of the trial sites up to about 8 years since construction. The project work includes comprehensive studies on the ageing properties of trial binders and their effects on the life of sprayed seal surfacings.

Presented by Young Choi and Steve Patrick.

Implications of Pavement Markings for Machine Vision

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Introducing automated vehicles could dramatically impact the Australian and New Zealand travelling public’s driving experience and the industry’s approach to road safety and road design. This journey will undoubtedly take many years and considerable efforts in partnerships, testing, certification, design and legislation. A growing range of vehicles already available in the market offer automated-steering functions enabled by Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). Their performance depends on the vehicle’s technology and the environment where they are used. Greater consistency and quality in pavement markings will benefit not only automated vehicles but also all road users.

This webinar, presented on 21 October 2020 by Julien Marr, April Zhang, Scott Benjamin and John Wall, focuses on the outcomes of the Austroads research project, which was conducted to understand how longitudinal pavement markings affect automated steering functions and how existing design and maintenance practices could be improved.

A Holistic Investment Prioritisation Framework for Road Assets

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Currently road authorities rely on multiple different decision making-frameworks to help identify investment opportunities for the road network. The framework used often varies depending on the nature of the expenditure. For example, cost benefit analysis is commonly used to assess large capital upgrades and risk assessments are commonly used to identify bridges that need treatment. The outputs produced by the different decision-making frameworks are incompatible, making it difficult to prioritise across different expenditure types.

This webinar presents a holistic prioritisation framework that supports investment decision making across and within service groups, asset classes and expenditure categories. The framework also seeks to enhance existing asset management reporting by providing easy to understand portfolio-level outputs to help non-technical decision makers make funding decisions.

Presented by Martin Chow and Dylan Frangos.

Updated Roadside Design Guidance – Crash Risk Evaluation Procedure Background

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Minimising the risk of roadside crashes is important in reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads. The recently updated Part 6 of the Austroads Guide to Road Design includes a new method to determine the risk associated with roadside crashes and to identify where risk mitigation treatments are required on urban and rural road networks. The approach establishes a Network Roadside Risk Threshold (NRRIT) which consistently directs the locations for treatments within projects.

This webinar, presented by Peter Ellis and Rod Troutbeck on 6 October 2020, describes the procedure’s background in detail explaining the concepts and research behind it.

The presentation slides can be downloaded from the supporting documents tab after logging in.

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