Effective, fair and sustainable road management requires objective and up to date information. Advances in a range of sensing technologies and information processing have built up the potential for implementing new monitoring techniques that deliver key information for road management. Many current monitoring techniques suffer from low cost-effectiveness, restricted spatial coverage, traffic disruption, poor reliability, poor understanding of their capability, subjective interpretation, poor assessment of defects affecting functionality, and restricted versatility. For this reason many road and bridge owners/operators make limited use of current monitoring systems and avoid some of the recent developments. The practice of using monitoring techniques also differs between countries. As a result management decisions are sometimes not optimal, causing higher costs, lower performance, inconvenience (traffic delays) and additional costs and external effects to society.
Reliable and accurate road infrastructure condition data that reports the key functional, safety and structural condition of roads and structures across Europe. The effective use of this data within management systems across the full range of maintenance activities from scheme identification and treatment design, through to strategic, financial and whole life planning. Hence, increased efficiency, informed decision making, highly sustainable and cost effective road management.
The aim of the project is to enhance the management of road infrastructure assets by complementing or replacing existing monitoring systems, thus creating a comprehensive and efficient toolbox of monitoring systems and indicators that will provide the key information required for efficient, sustainable and cost-effective decision making, at both the network and project level.
To achieve its objectives, the project will:
• Develop, test and validate advanced monitoring technologies in real world conditions based on an assembly of stakeholder needs regarding road and bridge condition
• Show how the advanced monitoring methods can be implemented on the European road network, and how any barriers to implementation can be overcome
• Develop complimentary, accurate and relevant condition parameters and indicators to utilise both advanced monitoring data and data from traditional monitoring methods.
• Show how the advanced condition indicators would be implemented in asset management systems to enhance decision making and add value to the asset management process,
such as proactive current maintenance and feedback to future design principles and strategies.
Methodology and work plan
The overall strategy of the work will be to map the needs for monitoring, assessing how current and new technologies can satisfy these needs (WP2). Then, identified key technologies for pavements and bridges will be investigated to improve data processing, interpretation and indicators (WP3 and WP4). Finally, aspects of implementation of indicators in road asset management will be investigated to provide information on application areas, added values, and procedures (WP2).
Through the ability to make more informed decisions, road asset management will gain in its ability to optimise management and services with respect to road manager efficiency, maintenance costs and societal costs and benefits. The development of high tech road infrastructure monitoring and management systems will lead to a demand for highly specialised services in niche markets. This project has a strong emphasis on engaging SMEs, each with a potential to become world-leading in its area. Maximum impact is also ensured by organisational measures with a strong link to ERANET Road projects.