Testing leads to better roadwork outcomes

26 May 2014

AN innovative system of testing the strength of local roads is creating a more targeted approach to road management and more efficient use of infrastructure funds.

Alpine Shire Council used ARRB Group’s Structural Testing Evaluation of Pavements (STEP) technology to assess key roads in February.

Director Infrastructure Services Ian Ellett said the testing uses a deflectometer to capture the strength of a road at regular intervals (approximately every 20 metres).

“The data is then analysed alongside traffic movements to establish the predicted lifespan of the road,” he said.

“This technology allows Council to assess which sections of the road need attention first.”

STEP analysis provides structural information about the road at each test site, including pavement type, strength, capacity and remaining life.

Mr Ellett said results show that some sections may be in need of repair, while other sections of the same road may have a much longer expected lifespan.

“This means a more targeted approach to road management – when we know how each section of a road is holding up under traffic movements, we can better plan which sections will be prioritised and which can be budgeted for later,” he said.

“This results in a more efficient use of funds and a clearer idea of which roads will need work in the short and long-term.

“Council is currently developing a five-year capital works program, and information like this helps with that planning.”

Council engaged ARRB Group to test Buffalo River Road, Churchill Avenue, Bright and Kancoona South Road.

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