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Welcome to the June 2015 issue of AustroadsNews

This edition has a run-down on our latest publications, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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 Austroads Bridge Conference Papers Now Online

The 2014 Austroads Bridge Conference papers are now available online.

The papers are grouped in the conference categories:

  • Assessment and Investigation 
  • AS 5100
  • Construction and Strengthening
  • Design 
  • Innovation and Research
  • Life-cycle Management 
  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation
  • Standards and Specifications

Understanding the Limits of Sign Information Absorption

The co-location of signs on a road network allow road agencies to provide a number of critical messages over a short time or distance and fully use existing or proposed gantries. But how much information is too much for road users to absorb and act?  

Austroads' latest report reviews current practices and research evidence on the co-location of three types of signs: direction signs (DS), variable message signs (VMS) and variable speed limits/lane control signs (VSL/LCS).

The research found that dual co-location of VSL/LCS, VMS and/or DS has been widely practised overseas and in Australia. Triple co-location of VSL/LCS, VMS and DS is also practised overseas but is still new to the Australian driving community.

Findings in this report suggest that although there is no clear evidence showing that triple co-location gives rise to riskier behaviour, this proposition should be viewed with caution, but should not rule out further evaluation of triple co-location in a real life setting. It is also recommended that triple co-located signs should be used only in situations where other arrangements for displaying essential sign information are impractical.


Improving Rural Road Safety 

Almost 60% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads in Australia, while in New Zealand, the proportion is markedly higher at about 70%. In-depth crash studies have also shown that the road is a causation factor in about 30% of all crashes.

This report draws on literature and crash data analysis to identify and quantify geometric road design elements which contribute to the occurrence and severity of casualty crashes on rural roads.  

The report proposes a number of changes to Austroads road design guides which aim to reduce the casualty crash risk on rural roads. Most proposed changes involve clarification of guidance (e.g. for selection of design speed in challenging alignments, use of speed limits to control speeds, use of sealed shoulders, selection of barriers and clear zones) and greater guidance for design of low speed roundabouts.

A Commentary is provided discussing the usefulness of different types of evidence in revision of road engineering guidance. This is intended to make it easier for policy makers to select and commission the most appropriate inputs for consideration.


The Austroads Pavement Test Methods primarily relate to bituminous materials and their application. Recently updated or new test methods include:

Calibration of Bitumen Sprayers: General Introduction and List of Methods

This updated test method provides an overview of the six test methods  developed to test and calibrate single bar sprayers. A check list for calibration assessment of a bitumen sprayer is attached as Appendix A.

Calibration of Bitumen Sprayers: Transverse Distribution by Portable Trough

This updated test method sets out the procedures for determining the transverse distribution of bitumen sprayers using the portable test trough capture system. This method is applicable to single bar bitumen sprayers only. It is used to test and calibrate a bitumen sprayer but may also be used to conduct a field audit of a calibrated and certified sprayer.

Characterisation of Flexural Stiffness and Fatigue Performance of Bituminous Mixes

This new test method specifies procedures for the characterisation of the stiffness and fatigue behaviour of bituminous mixtures using a four-point bending test configuration.

The procedure is used:

  • to determine the modulus of the material at different temperatures and frequencies and to develop flexural modulus master curves
  • to rank bituminous mixtures on the basis of stiffness and fatigue
  • as a guide to relative performance in the pavement
  • to obtain data for estimating the structural behaviour of the road
  • to judge test data according to specifications for bituminous mixtures. 



Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

IPWEA International Public Works Conference
7-11 June 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand

Bikeable City Masterclass (in association with the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference)
26-30 June 2015, Copenhagen

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 
20-21 July 2015, Adelaide, South Australia

AITPM National Traffic and Transport Conference
28-31 July 2015, Brisbane, Queensland

NEW Trafinz Conference 2015
12-14 August 2015, Dunedin, New Zealand

NEW Parking Australia Outlook Conference 2015
19-20 August 2015, Sydney, NSW

Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting
23-26 August, Brisbane, Queensland

Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress 2015 
13-16 September 2015, Brisbane, Queensland

AAPA International Flexible Pavements Conference
13-16 September 2015, Gold Coast, Queensland

Australasian Road Safety Conference 
14-16 October 2015, Gold Coast, Queensland

XXVth World Road Congress
2-6 November 2015, Seoul, Korea

4th International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention
9-11 November 2015, Sydney, Australia

Sixth International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology 2-5 August 2016, Brisbane, Queensland

23rd ITS World Congress Melbourne 2016
10-14 October 2016, Melbourne Victoria