Austroads: Transport Research and Trends

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Next Generation Asset Data Collection: Road Pavement Performance


The increasing pace of change of technology brings considerable promise of more data, of a higher quality, captured for a lower cost. This has the potential to improve the asset management of roads by enabling better decision making and providing a more complete picture of asset performance.

These benefits, however, are not automatic. For asset managers, it can be difficult to know what technology is available and how the benefits compare to costs. There is also often considerable friction in moving to new approaches as existing processes and systems are tailored for the status quo. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is confidence in moving from an existing approach to having trust in the unknown.

In response to this need to understand the emerging technologies available, the cost-effectiveness of these technologies, and the implications of transitioning from existing to new approaches, Austroads has developed a research report on next generation data collection technologies for road pavement assets.

With specific reference to road pavement assets, this webinar takes attendees through:

  • The key themes across the data required to inform asset management decisions.
  • The current state of data collection technologies.
  • The interconnected ecosystem of emerging data collection technologies.
  • A structured framework for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of emerging data collection technologies.
  • Insights from the application of the evaluation framework and implications for future approaches to data collection.

Presented by David Jansen, Susan Chamberlain, Ella Hingston, Dr Colin Kemp and Trevor Chiang.

Development and Justification of Asset Preservation and Renewal: Investment Decision Making


This is a final session in the series of three webinars based on the Austroads report Prolonging the Life of Road Assets Under Increasing Demand: A Framework and Tools for Informing the Development and Justification of Asset Preservation and Renewal.

It is presented by Tim Martin, Tyrone Toole and Qindong Li, and explains the broad framework and the economic and customer centred basis for justifying appropriate levels of investment in road asset preservation and renewal. Examples include those which impact strategic, network level decisions and supporting policies and processes.

Development and Justification of Asset Preservation and Renewal: Framework and Tools


This is the second session in a series to present the findings of Prolonging the Life of Road Assets Under Increasing Demand: A Framework and Tools for Informing the Development and Justification of Asset Preservation and Renewal.

The webinar, presented by Tyrone Toole, Dr Tim Martin, Ranita Sen, Qindong Li and Liam Terris, explains the framework, tools and case studies in detail, and how asset management practitioners can apply these in their day-to-day work.

The emphasis is on reinforcing good practice and its justification and how different preservation and renewal options can be evaluated.

It also provides a detailed introduction into the Pavement Life-cycle Costing tool, followed by worked examples through the presentation of several case studies.

Design and Construction Guidelines for the Delivery of Large Cantilever and Gantry Structures


Over recent years there have been a number of incidents of structural failures of sign and high mast lighting structures across Australia and New Zealand, primarily due to poor design and construction practices. In addition to the obvious unacceptable safety risks and property damage caused by such incidents, these failures create substantial unforeseen operational costs to repair and modify these assets. This often results in significant traffic delays and imparts reputational damage to the governing road authority and other parties involved.

The Austroads report Design and Construction Guidelines for the Delivery of Large Cantilever and Gantry Structures documents consistent advice for the design and construction of large cantilever and gantry structures that is aligned with national and international best practice.

This webinar, presented by Claire Jager, Linda Ziebell and Andrew Wong, covers the following key topics:

  • gaps in current guidance and standards
  • examples of good practice
  • lessons learned from past failures.

The guidance document should be read alongside relevant standards and is intended for use by all stakeholders including:

  • state road agencies
  • local government agencies
  • designers, contractors and fabricators.

Development and Justification of Asset Preservation and Renewal: Report Overview


This is the first session in a series of three webinars to present the findings of the report Prolonging the Life of Road Assets Under Increasing Demand: A Framework and Tools for Informing the Development and Justification of Asset Preservation and Renewal.

The session covers:

  • Review of challenges, guiding principles, examples of practice and definition of requirements.
  • Development of framework, procedures and supporting tools.
  • Scope and design of the case studies.
  • Case study results and consolidated findings.

Presented by Qindong Li, Tim Martin, Ranita Sen and Tyrone Toole.

Options for Managing the Impacts of Aged Heavy Vehicles


The freight industry is critical to the economy, and for many sectors it is heavy vehicles that underpin freight movements and prosperity.

The average age of trucks in Australia and New Zealand is among the highest in the developed world. The oldest trucks are associated with higher environmental and health costs than newer trucks, yet these have been poorly quantified to date. Managing these issues is important to maintaining the freight industry’s social license.

Austroads has published a research report which analyses the impacts of an ageing heavy vehicle fleet and explores measures that have been used to manage this challenge in Australasia and internationally.

An Overview of the New Guide to Road Design Parts 1 and 7


Austroads has recently completed a project to consolidate the previous Guide to Road Design Part 1: Introduction to Road Design, Part 2: Design Considerations and Part 8: Process and Documentation into a new Part 1: Objectives of Road Design.

This update to Part 1 of the Guide to Road Design provides practitioners with a detailed description of the critical aspects of road design and essentially combines the former parts 1, 2 and 8 into one single part. This will enable Part 2 to be utilised for network design considerations in a future update and the removal of Part 8 of the Guide.

In addition, a new Part 7: New and Emerging Treatments has been created to provide information to practitioners using emerging treatments which are known to provide some benefit from a safety and/or operational perspective but have not yet produced evidence for predominant contexts.

Part 7 contains design-related knowledge, findings from research and practical experiences about new, emerging and innovative treatments. This is a holding place for information about these treatments where full guidance is not available, for all road environments or until learning from implementation/trials is captured. The intention is for this information to be migrated to the respective parts 1 to 6 of the Guide when comprehensive evidence and dimensional guidance is available.

This webinar, presented by Noel O’Callaghan and Malcolm Mak, provides an overview of the new parts 1 and 7 and explain the links to other Austroads guides as well as jurisdictional supplements.

Paving our ways


This webinar presents a book “Paving Our Ways”, which references Austroads’ research and provides a comprehensive international history of the world’s pavements, running from the earliest human settlements to the present day. No previous book has covered such a broad canvass.

The book is written for general and technically oriented readers, tracing the human and social aspects of pavement development and use and providing detailed technical background. It also caters to students of engineering and transport wishing to broaden their knowledge of their profession or taking a course in the history and sociology of engineering.

“Paving Our Ways” provides interesting and curious asides about the stranger aspects of pavements. It explores the controversies surrounding the development of macadam pavements and, later, of asphalt pavements in a way that provides many insights into modern pavements. It also examines the subsequent competition between pavements using bituminous or cementitious binders.

The book covers three major time zones. The first is from the times of the Egyptian pharaohs to the end of the Roman era, the second is from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the First World War during which people like Tresaguet, Telford and McAdam had major impacts, and the third is from the end of the First World War to the present time when motorised trucks and machinery dramatically changed the way the pavements were made and used.

Looking back on the way current pavement technologies evolved, the authors of the book Maxwell Lay, formerly Director ConnectEast and Australian Road Research Board, John Metcalf, Formerly Louisiana State University, USA and Kieran Sharp, Road Eng. Assoc. of Asia and Australasia show how Australian practice relates to international practice.

Austroads Technical Specifications for Roadworks and Bridgeworks


Currently, most Austroads member agencies rely on their unique technical specifications for the delivery of roadworks and bridge projects. In many cases, these specifications have been developed over a number of years in consultation with local industry and suppliers.

While it is recognised that there will always be some requirements that will only apply to a single jurisdiction, standardising specifications (and the associated test methods) has the potential to improve work processes for road agencies, suppliers and contractors.

To increase efficiency for road agencies and industry and optimise compliance with contract requirements, 14 technical specifications have been published for all Austroads member agencies to use for the construction of roadworks and bridgeworks. These specifications are suitable for use with any general conditions of contract, including design and construct contracts. They are expected to be used in conjunction with supplementary local or contract specific requirements.

This webinar, presented by Richard Edwards, takes participants through the technical specifications development process and provides an overview of the structure and layout adopted for the specifications.

Network Operation Planning: Case Studies and Capability Building


Network operation planning aims to guide the day-to-day operation and development of the road network. These management activities are regularly completed and documented through the development of Network Operation Plans (NOPs), which link policy objectives while managing competing transport and land use priorities. This intent of NOPs is generally agreed, but the way and level of application varies across the jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand. The recent adoption of the Movement and Place (M&P) Framework in most of these jurisdictions has also influenced NOPs.

Austroads has led a review to understand current NOP practices and provide material to build capabilities in state and local government agencies to increase NOP use and implementation. The approach to increase NOP use and application consisted of a review of relevant literature, five case studies in four jurisdictions and a detailed review of the Network Fit Assessment Tool. There was also engagement with state transport agencies.

The project has produced an online Reference Material Library to help those looking to develop or evolve NOP processes.

The webinar, presented by Andrew Somers, Will Fooks and Alex Blackett, covers:

  • an overview of the activities undertaken as part of this project.
  • a summary of the takeaways from the review of current practices.
  • an introduction to the Online Library.
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