Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon


Welcome to the October edition of the Austroads newsletter.

We had a great turn-out for the drainage design webinar run last month with around 190 people participating on-line. Another 60 practitioners hooked up for a webinar on using the Austroads Turning Path Templates. The session was so popular we'll be running an advanced module next year.

In other news, the Austroads Guide to Asset Management (GAM) will undergo a major update over the next three to four years. The aim of the update is to respond to stakeholder needs and reflect state-of-the-art practice. If you have used the GAM in the past and/or intend to use the GAM in the future, we would very much appreciate your feedback via this online survey.

Design and Performance of Foamed Bitumen Stabilised Pavements

More than 90% of the Australian sealed road network consists of sprayed seal granular pavements. Increased traffic loadings are placing pressure on these pavements, with some non-standard materials no longer being fit-for-purpose.

This report is the first progress report of a four-year project which aims to improve the Austroads procedures for the mix and structural design of foamed bitumen stabilised materials. 

The report summarises the test methods drafted to date and details the results of monitoring foamed bitumen stabilised pavement trial sites on:

  • the Calder Freeway at Woodend, Victoria which was constructed specifically for this project in 2013
  • Port Wakefield Road in Virginia, South Australia constructed in 2011 and which experienced fatigue cracking within two years of opening to traffic
  • Kewdale Road in Canning, Western Australia constructed in 2011 and which experiences shear stresses due to braking and acceleration of heavy vehicles
  • the Kwinana Freeway in Perth, Western Australia constructed in 2010, and
  • the New England Highway south of Toowoomba, Queensland constructed in 2009.

The report also identifies the mix design and structural design project tasks for 2013–14.

Download the report

Improved Design Procedures for Asphalt Pavements

Pavement designers use complex computer modelling to predict how different designs will respond over time to a range of variables. 

Last year Austroads started work on a three-year project to improve the way asphalt pavements are designed. The project has focused on investigating ways to better predict the impacts of temperature and load from heavy vehicles.

The Austroads guidelines currently use methods that no not take into account the impact of extreme temperatures, temperatures at different depths in the pavement, damage variations between thick and thin asphalt structures, and the impact of loading at differing depths of the pavement structure.

This first report from the project documents the studies designed to address these issues. The work has identified a number of new prediction models that show promise. The next steps in the project will be to further refine and validate the models so that they can be incorporated into the Austroads Guide to Pavement Technology.

Download the report

A Focus on the Austroads Assets Program

Austroads’ Assets Program has an annual budget of around $2 million and is currently managing 20 projects which progress the Program’s objective to provide the road services the community needs at the least long term cost. Each year in excess of $18 billion is spent on roads across Australia and New Zealand which is a significant investment by all levels of government.

The Austroads Assets Program is managed by David Darwin and coordinated by Sarah Mayne, both are based in the New Zealand Transport Agency in Wellington.

The Program's work program is determined by the Assets Task Force, which has representatives from state and territory road agencies, the National Transport Commission, the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and the Australian Local Government Association.

The Program's projects, which are listed on the Austroads website, aim to:

  • Integrate customer defined levels of service into asset management practice
  • Establish a level of service framework and associated costs for freight
  • Clearly establish the relationship between road surface characteristics and road safety
  • Provide guidance on non-pavement asset management and on sustainable use of scarce and recycled materials in road maintenance
  • Ensure the guidance in the Austroads Guide to Asset Management remains current.

More than 14,500 Guide to Asset Management parts have been downloaded over the past three years. The Guide has 16 parts:

  • Part 1: Introduction to Asset Management
  • Part 2: Community and Stakeholder Requirements
  • Part 3: Asset Strategies
  • Part 4: Program Development and Implementation
  • Part 5: Pavement Performance
  • Part 5A: Inventory
  • Part 5B: Roughness
  • Part 5C: Rutting
  • Part 5D: Strength
  • Part 5E: Cracking
  • Part 5F: Skid Resistance
  • Part 5G: Texture
  • Part 5H: Performance Modelling
  • Part 6: Bridge Performance
  • Part 7: Road Related Assets Performance
  • Part 8: Asset Valuation and Audit

The Austroads Guide to Asset Management (GAM) will undergo a major update over the next three to four years. The aim of the update is to respond to stakeholder needs and reflect state-of-the-art practice by incorporating the findings of recent research, including an alignment with current road infrastructure management practises, by adopting the key requirements of international guides such as ISO 55000 and PAS 55. If you have used the GAM in the past and/or intend to use the GAM in the future, we would very much appreciate your feedback via this online survey.

International Collaboration
Austroads supports two representatives on the World Road Association’s Management of Road Assets Technical Committee, John Statton (Roads and Maritime Service, NSW) and Michael Hayward (Main Roads, WA). The Committee has a four year work plan which will examine the assessment of budgetary needs for road maintenance, optimisation of maintenance strategies, and balancing environmental and engineering aspects. The committee is working towards publishing a Road Assets Management Manual. The latest  committee report outlines the progress made on these projects and includes a presentation on managing road assets in Ontario, Canada.

Upcoming Workshops and Conferences

Bike Futures Conference
16-18 October 2013, Melbourne, Australia

NEW Designing for Pedestrians and Bicycle Riders
16-17 October 2013, Sydney, Australia

2013 Australasian College of Road Safety Conference | A Safe System: The Road Safety Discussion
6-8 November 2013, Adelaide, Australia

17th IRF World Meeting & Exhibition
9-13 November 2013, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Low Volume Roads Symposium
25-27 November 2013, Cairns, Australia

6th State of Australian Cities Conference
26-29 November 2013, Sydney, Australia

4th International Safer Roads Conference
18-21 May 2014, Cheltenham, UK 

Velo City Global Cycling Conference
27-29 May 2014, Adelaide, Australia

Austroads Bridge Conference
22-24 October 2014 Sydney