Monitoring road pavements is crucial for keeping roads open and safe. Roads and Maritime Services maintenance standards aim to provide consistent driving conditions, minimise long-term costs and satisfy community needs.
Routine pavement maintenance includes minor activities to maintain the pavement and shoulders of a road in a safe and trafficable condition and to minimise further asset deterioration.
The road surface plays an important role in:
- providing a safe surface for traffic
- providing a waterproofing layer to protect the underlying pavement from moisture which can significantly reduce the strength and durability of the road.
The surfaces of roads need restoration as traffic and environmental factors cause wear and tear to road surfaces. Pavement resurfacing improves waterproofing of the road surface thereby preserving the integrity of the road pavement. In addition, pavement resurfacing improves ride quality, corrects surface defects, or improves skid resistance. Roads and Maritime Services replaces over 10 per cent of road surfaces every year.
Resurfacing can involve
- Laying a new surface on top of the old by spraying bitumen and rolling stone chips into it, or laying a new thin layer of asphalt.
- Removing the old surface and replacing it with a new layer of asphalt.
- Recycling the old surface by remixing and stabilising the asphalt.
For further information see: Road surfaces: seals of protection, 2009 on the project document page.
A major challenge for Roads and Maritime Services is the sustainable rebuilding of road pavements. Pavement rebuilding improves the structural capacity of roads, which is necessary to support heavy vehicle loads, and ensure consistent driving conditions. Roads and Maritime Services spends over $150 million per year on pavement rebuilding activities.
Road pavement condition
Roads and Maritime Services has historically used the following performance indicators to monitor the condition of road pavements:
- Ride quality or road surface roughness.
- Pavement durability or surface cracking.
For further information see: Conditions of NSW State Roads, 2009 on the project document page.