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In Brief

This last edition of Austroads News for 2014 has a run-down on the latest Austroads publications, reports on our activities, and upcoming seminars and conferences.

The Communique from the November Austroads Board meeting is now available. 

Marcus James,General Manager, Surface Transport Productivity from the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is the new Austroads Freight Program Manager. Marcus replaces Michael Sutton who has done an excellent job of leading the program over the last 18 months.  

Thank you to all of our readers for your ongoing interest and support throughout the year. The Austroads team wishes you a happy holiday season, we look forward to seeing you again in the new year.

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Vision for Australian ITS Architecture

The development of a national Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Architecture is a priority action in the Policy Framework for ITS in Australia 2012 endorsed by Australia’s Transport and Infrastructure Council.

Austroads has completed Stage 1 of this initiative by recommending a reference ITS architecture.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) have the potential to help address a number of significant emerging challenges for Australia’s transport networks including:

  • the expected growth in the freight task
  • the economic and social costs of road crashes and road traffic congestion
  • managing CO2 emissions
  • pressures created by the growth of our major cities
  • increasing barriers to the construction of major new infrastructure to address urban transport issues – for financial, space, planning and environmental reasons.

The architecture will enable Australian transport agencies and industry to deploy ITS in a consistent, interoperable way.

Stage 1 includes a Context and Vision and an initial Business Architecture (incorporating the reference, functional and service models).

The European ITS Framework Architecture (usually called the "FRAME Architecture" or often just "FRAME") has been identified as the best basis for the Australian national ITS architecture. The European FRAME content can be accessed via www.frame-online.net. 

Austroads' next steps will be to develop an ITS Architecture Roadmap and identify transition planning for road agencies to inform the future customisation of FRAME content for local requirements.

Showcasing Interventions to Encourage Cycling

Austroads has released two reports showcasing infrastructure and behaviour change projects that have encouraged cycling in Australia and New Zealand.  

One report focuses on infrastructure and the other on low-cost interventions. 

The 15 case studies showcasing low cost interventions provide practitioners with examples of easy and effective methods to encourage cycling when working within limited budgets.  The case studies include infrastructure, education and encouragement projects that remove barriers to cycling such as unsafe road environments, disjointed bicycle networks, lack of parking facilities and lack of cycling skills or confidence. 

The 29 case studies showcasing innovative urban and regional bicycle infrastructure are ‘non-standard’ infrastructure treatments generally not detailed in the Austroads Guides. They cover:

  • at-grade and grade separated intersections
  • mid-block treatments
  • separated cycleways
  • shared paths
  • lighting and bicycle detection
  • off-road bicycle trails
  • parking and end-of-trip facilities.

The case studies  have also been added to the wider repository of case studies available on the Australian Bicycle Council website

EME2 Technology Shows Promise for Australia

French Enrobés à Module Élevé Class 2 (EME2) technology offers the prospect of reduced asphalt thickness for heavy duty pavements, and lower construction and maintenance costs.

Austroads has released a report detailing the first year of a three-year project to transfer EME2 technology to Australia.

EME2 mixes are produced using a hard paving grade bitumen applied at a high binder content (approx. 6%). Compared to conventional asphalt bases with unmodified binders, high modulus asphalt is characterised by high stiffness, high durability, superior resistance to permanent deformation and good fatigue resistance. International experience indicates that significant pavement thickness reductions can be achieved using EME2.

In this first year of the project, an Australian specification framework for EME2 mixes was developed and the requirements for manufacturing, paving and compliance were provided.

Tentative specification limits for EME2 mixes were set using Australian test methods for workability, wheel tracking, flexural stiffness, fatigue, and moisture sensitivity.

As part of the validation process a successful demonstration trial was carried out on Cullen Avenue West, Eagle Farm, Queensland.

Data from the laboratory and field studies was analysed and the outcomes are summarised in the report. Based on the laboratory and field data collected so far, the EME2 pavement shows performance as expected.

The EME2 test section at Eagle Farm, which is 30% thinner compared to the DG20HM control section, shows similar performance in terms of structural capacity. Preliminary laboratory data suggests that EME2 mixes have superior resistance to moisture damage, rutting and fatigue; however, long-term field data is required to confirm and validate these findings

This project supports the move towards a unified performance-based mix and pavement design for asphalt in Australia.

In the second year of the project, a draft EME2 mix design guideline will be developed.

International Road Safety Manual Update

The World Road Association is an international road organisation with 118 member governments and some 2,500 road experts. Both Australia and New Zealand are full country members.

The Road Safety Manual is one of the flagship products of the World Road Association and will be a significant contribution to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

George Mavroyeni from VicRoads is one of 11 participants on the Road Safety Manual Task Force. 

The manual is expected to be launched in early 2015. Read George's report from the last Task Force meeting for details of the manual's development and launch.

Austroads Awards Recognise Excellence

In November the Board presented Andy Milazzo with the Austroads Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Austroads over 27 years, but particularly as Chair, Deputy Chair, long-standing Board member and Australian First Delegate to the World Road Association.

The Board also presented retiring Chief Executive Murray Kidnie with an Austroads Medal. The award was in recognition of his distinguished and outstanding contribution to Austroads and its activities as Chief Executive for 13 years. Murray’s leadership, commitment and dedication have placed Austroads in a firm position for a strong future.

Iain Cameron Awarded Prestigious ACRS Fellowship

Congratulations to Austroads Safety Program Manager, Iain Cameron, who was presented with the prestigious 2014 ACRS Fellowship by the ACRS Patron, the Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove, in November.

The award was presented by the Governor-General in front of more than 250 of Australasia’s foremost road safety professionals and advocates, and is recognition of exemplary contribution being made by an individual to road safety in Australasia.

New Prequalification Categories Proposed

Reminder. Submissions about the proposal to add Precast Concrete Products and Steel Fabrication categories to Australia’s National Prequalification System are due 19 December 2014.

Full details are available on the Austroads website.

Upcoming Workshops and Conferences

NEW ARRB Webinar: Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides
12 February 2015, Online (No charge, registration required) 

NEW ARRB Webinar: Implementing the French High Modulus Asphalt (EME2) in Australia
5 March 2015, Online (No charge, registration required)

NEW Traffic Management Association of Australia Annual Conference “Future Directions in Traffic Management”
27 March 2015, Adelaide, South Australia

International Road Federation and Roads Australia Regional Conference 
"Innovating for the Future"
4-7 May 2015, Sydney, NSW

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

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