For roads to achieve their economic function they must be maintained. The failure to do so results in higher transportation costs that drive up commodity prices which in turn impact the livelihoods of citizens in all sectors of society. What asset management interventions can support effective road maintenance?

ROADS MATTER


During holiday periods such as Easter and Christmas, it quickly becomes evident how important road infrastructure is for a country.

Roads form the bedrock of society’s economic development. They facilitate the movement of people and goods, bolster trade, and create employment as well as investment opportunities.

We all use roads, whether for economic or social ends. We can therefore all agree that the sound management of this sector is of key interest to all concerned citizens.

ROAD MAINTENANCE CHALLENGES


Inadequate management of road assets affects high and low income countries alike. As noted by the Secretary General of the World Road Association, Jean-Francois Corté1:

[H]igh and middle income countries are also affected by the maintenance demands of large modern road networks, which with age see a progressive deterioration of condition and service.

Corté proposes that the solution not merely be a matter of increased funding, but rather the cultivation of a “maintenance culture that seeks improvements in management methods, innovative contract approaches and new maintenance techniques”. 2

SYSTEMATIC ROAD ASSET MANAGEMENT


Road authorities are faced with some structural challenges when it comes to road maintenance:

Imbalances exist between the rate of deterioration and the level of funding allocated for maintenance of existing infrastructure.

There is a tendency to prioritise new construction over good quality and timely maintenance.

What can road authorities do, according to the World Road Association 3, to counter such problems?

1. PLANNED MAINTENANCE PROGRAMMES

A first intervention would be to instill a well-planned maintenance programme that can:

Guide engineers

Optimise timing

Save money

2. ROAD ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

A second intervention is to support informed decision-making with up-dated data of road conditions. A road asset management system structures operations and enables informed planning and cost-effective use of available resources by:

Helping to determine the level of maintenance and rehabilitation funding in relation to the desired level of service and preservation of the asset value.

Helping to determine which maintenance and rehabilitation actions and budgets will most effectively bring pavement conditions toward the desired level of service in the medium to long term.

Helping to expose added costs and savings to road users and the road agency of different maintenance/condition standards and strategies.

The outputs of an asset management system can in turn be used to convince decision makers of the threats associated with insufficient funding for maintenance.

ROAD ASSET MANAGEMENT WITH IMQS SOFTWARE


While IMQS can’t ensure that your department gains adequate funding on the political level, we do however provide a web-based, spatially enabled application that ensures that maintenance planning and operations are informed with up-to-date and trusted geo-referenced information. This solution, supported by IMQS's Mobile Asset Verification Service, ensures that data is captured, kept current, and made accessible in relevant ways.

IMQS’s Road Maintenance and Pavement Management solutions provide a clearly defined set of procedures for collecting and analysing relevant data so that maintenance and management needs for entire road networks can be identified, prioritised and budgeted for. These solutions then easily integrate with our broader Asset Management and Asset Registering suite of products.

For more information, download our free white paper or click here to find out how Mobile Asset Verification can support your maintenance planning and operations.