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AustroadsNews | April 2016 

Welcome to the April edition of AustroadsNews. This newsletter provides a run-down on our latest publications, links to other relevant work in Australasia and elsewhere, and links to upcoming seminars and conferences.

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Achieving Safe System speeds on urban arterial roads

Austroads has released a compendium of 27 engineering‑based treatments that, either as a stand‑alone treatment or in combination, will lower the operating speed on urban arterial roads to Safe System speeds.

A significant proportion of road crashes occur on urban arterial roads including those that lead to fatalities and serious injuries. Installation of these types of treatments have the potential to reduce the incidence and severity of crashes.

An inclusive definition has been used for urban arterial roads in this study, with information on treatments provided for ‘higher traffic volume’ roads. While the focus is on engineering measures, some information on non‑engineering‑based treatments (e.g. enforcement, in‑vehicle systems, road user education, and publicity) is provided along with information on speed management measures in work and school zones.

Several emerging treatments were identified as having considerable potential for effective long‑term usage, including signalised roundabouts, turbo roundabouts, road diets, raised intersections, wombat crossings, raised platforms and dwell‑on‑red signals.


Changes recommended to improve design procedures for asphalt pavements

Austroads has published a report recommending changes to the asphalt design procedures in the Guide to Pavement Technology Part 2: Pavement Structural Design.

Proposed improvements include:

  • introduction of a sigmoidal master curve to conveniently represent the relationship between temperature, loading time and flexural modulus used for design
  • an improved test method (AGPT/T274-2016) for the characterisation of flexural modulus, changes including sinusoidal displacement mode testing at a small strain level, and measurement of modulus over a range of temperatures and load frequencies
  • conversion of the procedures to approximate flexural modulus at different temperatures and loading times from indirect tensile resilient modulus testing into master curves
  • a methodology to convert master curves constructed from compressive modulus results into an approximate flexural modulus master curve
  • conversion of the procedures to approximate flexural modulus at different temperatures and loading times from typical resilient modulus values for Australian mixes into master curves
  • definition of the relationship between the falling weight deflectometer pulse loading time and cyclic frequency in flexural modulus testing
  • an improved methodology for the characterisation of asphalt fatigue performance (the changes will make the outcomes of the testing more comparable to the current fatigue prediction model in the guide).

The recommended changes to the procedures in the AGPT are introduced in Section 2 of the report. The remainder of the report provides the validation of the proposed changes.

Field experiments were performed to characterise the modulus of asphalt in situ at different temperatures. The field work is discussed in Section 3. Materials were sampled in the field for the purpose of modulus and fatigue characterisation testing in the laboratory, the results of which are presented in Section 4. In Section 5, the comparative results of the field and laboratory experiments are used in combination with data from earlier work to validate the proposed changes to the AGPT. The conclusions of the study and possible future work on improving the AGPT design methods are presented in Section 6.


Roadmap shows the way for development of consistent ITS architecture 

Austroads has published a roadmap to the development of a national Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Architecture.

ITS includes:

  • basic management systems such as car navigation, traffic signal control systems, variable message signs, automatic number plate recognition or speed cameras 
  • monitoring applications, such as security CCTV systems
  • more advanced applications that integrate live data and feedback from a number of sources, such as parking guidance
  • predictive techniques that allow advanced modelling and comparison with historical data.

The National ITS Architecture will enable Australian transport agencies and industry to deploy ITS in a consistent, interoperable way and deliver road safety, mobility and environmental outcomes for road transport users including private, freight and public transport modes.

The roadmap provides an overview of Austroads’ activities and timeframes to progress the development and implementation of the National ITS Architecture. The roadmap:

  • provides a timeline that identifies key milestones in the ongoing development, governance and adoption of the National ITS Architecture
  • identifies when Austroads will engage with broader government agencies at a federal, state and local level and the ITS industry
  • outlines the activities required to develop and implement the National ITS Architecture.

Keeping freight moving in emergencies maintains economic and social wellbeing

Austroads has published the results of a study confirming the importance of maintaining freight movement to communities impacted by emergencies.

In the three years prior to 2013, Australasia experienced a severe earthquake decimating the City of Christchurch, Victoria’s most tragic bushfires, category 4/5 cyclones in Queensland and Western Australia, and major general flooding in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Recent research and workshops held as part of the study confirm that freight movement is essential for maintaining the economy and social wellbeing of disaster impacted communities,

In the face of these types of disasters jurisdictions have had to develop rapid and innovative responses to keep freight moving on damaged or non-typical transport networks. This has included pre-positioning goods before emergencies; stockpiling materials and sometimes plant on areas of hard-standing adjacent to bridges, fords and range crossings; planning and designing heavy vehicle rest areas to allow double and triple road trains to turn around; and developing technology to communicate emergency traffic management plan deviations for different classes of light and heavy vehicles.

Depending on the scale of the disaster, response and recovery traffic movements and preserving security for damaged towns and dwellings, can overwhelm or constrain the availability of the remaining transport elements for their normal social and economic use. This can impede the ability to maintain crucial freight movements required by businesses and for employment.

The report recommends:

  • jurisdictions establish an economic resilience goal and integrate resulting practices into emergency management processes
  • jurisdictions incorporate maintenance of essential and general freight movement into emergency planning, including for crashes impacting freight routes
  • assessing the creation of a national information system for road users in emergencies
  • governments prioritise important economic areas and their transport links in freight movement emergency planning
  • emergency and heavy vehicle units within road agencies regularly meet with road freight stakeholders and selected operators
  • jurisdictions investigate establishing a unit similar to WA's State Emergency Management Commission to assess potential hazards and advise on the mitigation and management.

Better understanding level of service requirements for heavy vehicle drivers

Austroads has published survey responses by road freight drivers, operators and road infrastructure managers to better understand their asset management level of service (LOS) requirements.

The responses identified three primary road attributes impacting on LOS for heavy vehicle drivers and freight operators: ride comfort (road roughness); road shoulder width and condition; and road and bridge geometry and general access.

A follow-up survey investigated the responses of truck and car drivers to variations to the above identified three key road inventory attributes. Analysis of sample rating data indicated that LOS ratings provided by car and truck drivers closely followed changes in LOS for roughness, shoulder width and lane geometry, but truck drivers on average rated LOS below that rated by car drivers.

To account for differences in ride comfort ratings between car and truck drivers, two ride comfort measures (Heavy Articulated Truck Index (HATI) and the Heavy Vehicle Roughness Band Index (HVRBI)) were used as well as the International Roughness Index (IRI) used by road agencies.

HATI is truck specific and used by some agencies to assess truck ride comfort. The experimental HVRBI measure was included because it can model cab and seat responses in estimating the ride comfort of the freight vehicle types used. The IRI models the suspension characteristics of cars and therefore is only partly capable of estimating heavy vehicle responses. The comparisons of truck and car driver ratings with the three roughness measures support further development of ride comfort measures aligned with truck ride responses. Used together with IRI these measure should allow asset managers to deliver LOS levels better suited to the needs of cars and freight vehicles.

The report recommends further research is undertaken to clearly determine a process for road agencies to set a separate LOS for: ride comfort; lane and shoulder width; and road geometry for rural roads based on road function (class) and rural freight vehicle requirements. 


World Road Association: Technical Committee Reports

The Austroads team of local practitioners participating in the World Road Association  (PIARC) technical committees have completed the first round of meetings for this strategic cycle.

The following meeting reports are now available:

Sustainable Multimodality in Urban Areas from Michael McClean, VicRoads

National Road Safety Policies and Programs from Blair Turner, ARRB

Design and Operations of Safer Road Infrastructure from Daniel Cassar, VicRoads

Pavements from Michael Moffatt, ARRB

Road Tunnels Operations from George Mavroyeni, AECOM 

Adaptation Strategies/Resiliency from Caroline Evans, ARRB

Environmental Considerations in Road Projects and Operations from Rob Hannaby, TNZA and Helen Murphy, VicRoads

PIARC was established in 1909 as a non-political, non-profit organisation that aims to develop international cooperation and foster progress in the area of roads and road transport. The organisation brings together the road administrations of 121 governments and has members – individuals, companies, authorities and organizations – in more than 140 countries. 


VicRoads ITS Transport Technology Grant Program

Applications for the Victorian $4.5 million Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Transport Technology Grants Program are now open.

VicRoads is seeking Expressions of Interest from companies, industry bodies and other transport technology industries to trial projects that support innovation and the development of transport technologies and products that benefit Victoria and the wider Australian community.

The grants will allow VicRoads to work with industry to develop technologies to help reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic flow, reduce road crashes, improve the integration between transport modes, improve environmental sustainability; and improve traveller information to enable to choice alternative transport modes.

The grants will also allow industry to undertake research and trials and provide an opportunity to showcase new technologies and innovation at the 2016 ITS World Congress to be held in Melbourne in October.

Applications will close on Friday, 15 April, with successful candidates announced in late-May. 


New Street Classifications for London

Over the last 18 months more than 400 transport professionals have collaboratively examined how London's road network is helping people move across the Capital but also providing liveable social space. Transport for London's new street classification system  moves beyond simple arterial, collector and large vehicle classifications. Their new system considers the land use context and the placemaking aspect that streets can play.


Road Safety Reports

Road Deaths Australia—Monthly Bulletins
Released mid month - Latest March 2016 
This bulletin contains current counts and summaries of road crash deaths and fatal road crashes in Australia. It is produced monthly and published on BITRE's website on or around the 14th of each month. Data are sourced from the road traffic or police authorities in each jurisdiction.

2015 Victorian Road Trauma Report
A comprehensive analysis of emerging trends and factors relating to road crashes across Victoria, released in March 2016.


ABC2017 Call for Abstracts

The Austroads Bridge Conference is Australia's premier bridge conference and ABC2017 will provide great opportunities for local and international bridge engineering specialists to share experiences, innovations, achievements and knowledge.

Submissions are warmly invited for presentations at ABC2017 which address the conference theme of Bridges: Connecting Communities and one or more of the following sub themes:

  • Bridge Analysis, Design and Assessment
  • Innovative Bridge Construction
  • Bridge Technology
  • Bridge Asset Management
  • Bridge Management Strategies
  • Bridge Engineering Heritage
  • Sustainability and Life Cycle Cost
  • Codes and Standards
  • Material Technology
  • Field Applications and Case Studies
  • Lessons Learnt from Bridge Damages and Failures
  • Load Assessment
  • Feature Projects

For more information visit the website


Upcoming Workshops + Conferences

NEW ITS Business Networking Event, 26 April 2016, Adelaide, South Australia

ARRB Webinar: Safe System Assessment Framework for Road Infrastructure Projects | 10 May 2016, Online, no charge

NEW IPWEA CIVINEX Expo | 18-19 May 2016, Hawkesbury Showgrounds, Sydney, NSW

NEW Connected Autonomy in Smart Cities: ITS Summit 2016 | 23-24 May 2016, Brisbane, Queensland

2 Walk and Cycle Conference | 6-8 July 2016, Auckland, New Zealand

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

IPWEA Sustainability in Public Works Conference 2016 | 24-26 August 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

International Transportation Geotechnics Conference 2016 | 4-7 September 2016, Guimarães, Portugal

2016 Australasian Road Safety Conference 2016 (ARSC2016) 6-8 September 2016, Canberra, ACT

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

Construction Materials Industry Conference 2016 (CMIC16​) | 26-28 October 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

38th Australasian Transport Research Forum 16-18 November 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

27th ARRB Conference | 16-18 November 2016, Melbourne, Victoria

NEW 10th Austroads Bridge Conference: ABC2017 | 3-6 April 2017, Melbourne, Victoria