Pavements are the portion of a road that have been designed to support and form the running surface for vehicular traffic.
The effective management of pavements through their lifecycle has economic and safety impacts and requires a detailed knowledge of pavement behaviour.
The Austroads Pavement Technology Task Force provides the lead forum in Australia and New Zealand on road pavement technology.
Through the Task Force Austroads manages pavement technology development and education, monitors international innovations, harmonises standards and codes of practice, and facilitates information exchange and technology transfer among road organisations in the public and private sectors.
Industry groups such as AAPA, AustStab, CCAA and Roading NZ are represented on the Task Force.
The Task Force coordinates updates to the Austroads Guide to Pavement Technology. The 22 parts of the Guide provide fundamental information regarding the purpose and types of pavements, choice of pavement materials, and pavement design and behaviour. Detailed information is supplied on individual materials such as granular base and subbase materials, asphalt, concrete pavement materials, stabilised materials, recycled materials, bituminous binders, geotextiles and geogrids, earthworks materials, aggregate and source rock, seals and stabilising binders. Guidance is also provided on routine and periodic maintenance programs, rehabilitation works and the management of pavement construction.
Michael Moffatt (ARRB) is the Australian/New Zealand member on the World Road Association’s (PIARC) Technical Committee on Road Pavements. The Committee’s work program has solid links to Austroads activities and projects. The Committee is studying rapidly developing technology surrounding road condition monitoring and the service life of road pavement wearing courses. An update to the PIARC guide to recycling pavements in underway, and possible means and materials to reduce the carbon footprint of pavement materials are being examined.
Austroads' pavement research projects for 2013-14 are now listed on the Austroads website. There are 15 continuing multi-year projects and seven new projects.
The projects aim to provide guidance on improving the structural performance of pavements, improve understanding of material characteristics and vehicle interactions including enhanced test methods and delivery techniques, and provide guidance on management of scarce and quality resources (particularly in rural locations).