Abstract: In Sri Lanka there are about 120,000 km of roads from which only about 80,000 km are classified, and more than 40,000 km of roads are unclassified. Most of them are low volume roads. These roads are essential in community development, transport of people, goods and services in the rural areas. Most of these low volume roads would be actively contributing to our country’s economy and wellbeing by distributing the produces from rural areas to urban areas. Anyhow the maintenance of these roads are not done properly and the road users suffer due to the bad road conditions. There is no proper maintenance system available in Sri Lanka as in the foreign countries. Even though there are systems purchased from foreign countries, they are very complex, and the data collection is also time consuming. My study will be focused on developing a user-friendly system to carry out maintenance work of low volume roads in Sri Lanka.
Keywords: Transportation; Highway Asset Management; Low volume roads; Highway Maintenance
Roads play an important role in the development of people and countries since the beginning of civilization. They allow connection of people and places. Among these roads there are low volume roads considered as roads having an average daily traffic less than 400 vehicle/day. Even though the vehicle volume is low, with time and the usage, these roads deteriorate. So, they must be repaired and maintained properly. To conduct a proper maintenance, there must be introduced a maintenance planning. Maintenance planning is based on various factors and data. Such as,
Road roughness valuesWeather ConditionTerrainSocial and Economic importance etc.
The low volume roads in Sri Lanka are mostly maintained by local authorities and not maintained properly due to lack of a proper system. The authorities are notified about a damaged road mostly when people start to protest. Poor maintenance causes difficulties in transporting goods and people affecting directly the economic and social wellbeing of the road users.
Even though the maintenance is carried out, the resources are not effectively used, and wastage is high. Which is wastage of the money belonging to the public, and it is a huge negative impact on the economy of the country. The authorities are unable to identify the most appropriate method of repair or maintenance for a specific road section and sometimes tend to patch a road which is planned to be completely repaved after two to three years.
These mistakes can be avoided by a proper management system and proper timely and effective maintenance can be carried out benefitting the people of the country. Even though there systems available, they are complex to use and data collection takes a longer time which makes it ineffective. Therefore, a user friendly system which requires lesser amount of data is needed for asset management.
2. Literature Review
The owners of transport infrastructures such as Highways Agency, Local Authorities are concerned more about asset management policies. Asset management is highly important because highways is the most valuable asset which is publicly owned in UK. Majority of population use road network in their day to day work and therefore it is crucial that the highway assets need to be maintained effectively to ensure that they are kept in a safe condition for all who use them while working under financial constraints and reduced maintenance budgets. However, this is not something that can be introduced to an organisation overnight. It is a journey that can take many years and can involve a huge effort to introduce and implement the necessary changes in current practice to engage asset management values (Shah, McMann, & Borthwick, 2017).
Table 1: Definitions of transportation asset management.
National Cooperative Highway Research
Programme (NCHRP) (2002)
”Transportation Asset Management is a strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining,
upgrading, and expanding physical assets effectively throughout their life-cycle. It focuses on business and engineering practices for resource allocation and utilization, with the objective of better decision making based upon quality information and well-defined objectives”
US Department of Transportation (USDOT)
”Asset management is a systematic process of maintaining, upgrading, and operating physical assets costs-effectively. It combines engineering principles with sound business practices and economic theory, and it provides tools to facilitate a more organized, logical approach to decision-making. Thus, asset management provides a framework for handling both short- and long-range planning”
County Surveyors Society (2004)
”Asset management is a strategic approach that identifies the optimal allocation of resources for the management, operation, preservation and enhancement of the highway infrastructure to meet the needs of current and future customers”
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) (2001)
”A systematic process of maintaining, upgrading and operating assets, combining engineering principles with sound business practice and economic rationale, and providing tools to facilitate a more organised and flexible approach to making the decisions necessary to achieve the public’s expectations”
Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia
”To meet a required level of service, in the most cost-effective manner, through the management of assets for present and future customers”
Bittner and Rosen (2004)
”TAM is a systematic process of operating, maintaining, and upgrading physical assets cost-effectively. It combines engineering and mathematical analyses with sound business practice and economic theory”
(Shah, McMann, & Borthwick, 2017)
Figure 1: Pressures on infrastructure system. Source: Van der Velde et al., 2013.
Asset management is a systematic process of asset maintenance, enhancement, provision for reasonable prices etc. which combines engineering practices with economy. Introduction of the asset management requires new information, analytical tools, new approaches of communication in the organizations and new management practices. The computer systems monitor standard of technical condition, calculate real life of operational capability, in a cyclical manner and forecast future trends, recommend technologies for construction and administration. Proper maintenance of road gives considerable benefits to road users over lifetime. (Trojanova, 2014)
The money spent on maintenance of a road as well as constructing a new road should be considered as investment. The present-time investments compared to the appropriate future costs should also be considered. Higher road maintenance standards incur higher initial cost but lower administration cost in later use. Therefore, the higher initial cost is justifiable compared with benefits given to road users. (Ognjenovic, Ishkov, Cvetkovic, Peric, & Romanovich, 2016)
The relationship between roads pavements failures and underlying geology of sub-grade layers were studied by researchers and it was noted that roads with high failure rates contain poor sub-grades. Provision of proper drainage system also reduces failure rate. Repetition of heavy traffic under hot weather causes in increase of road deterioration. (Bazlamit, Ahmad, & Al-Suleiman, 2017)
Figure 2: Rating scale used for Pavement Condition Index (PCI) Method.
Roads are the lifeline of a nation providing a reliable and easy access to different areas across the country. Accessibility in rural areas plays an important role in poverty eradication and socio-economic development as stated earlier. Therefore, the need for road connectivity is considered vital in the developing countries like Sri Lanka having vast rural population where agriculture and plantations becomes a major source of economy. Software modelling can be done to implement a proper maintenance system. (Singh, Sharma, Mishra, Wagle, & Sarkar, 2018)
Many asphalt roads are subjected to heavy traffic (heavy vehicles), resulting in rapid deterioration. Because of the poor maintenance, rehabilitation of damaged pavements is generally limited to patching. However, without proper understanding of the causes of the distresses, most often real defects were not corrected and similar distresses repeat within a short period of time. (Chao, Lin, Luo, Wang, & Lo, 2017) conducted a study in Thailand as Pavement evaluation of the test road included various
non-destructive testing and pavement coring, including
· Visual condition surveys using Pavement Condition Index (PCI)
· Falling weight deflectometer (FWD) testing
· Ground penetrating radar (GPR) testing
· Dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) testing
· Pavement coring
During the last two decades, the road pavements have been subjected to increasing traffic loads beyond the capacity of their original design limits due to the growing demand on road transport. The wastage of resources during maintenance and rehabilitation of roads is a heavy burden on governments, road agencies and road users. (Sultan & Guo, 2016) conducted a research on developing an asphalt material which can last long under heavy traffic conditions. The inspection and analysis of roads are beneficial for maintaining and enhancing the comfort and quality of them. The International Roughness Index is adopted to determine the condition of the road (Lin & Ho, 2016). Nowadays we can have several systems and procedures: Pavement Management System (PMS), Priority Rating System (PRS), Pavement Maintenance Management System (PMMS), Roadway Evaluation and Maintenance Programming (REMP), Pavement Serviceability System (PSS). These procedures are aimed to make road maintenance effective in time and cost by also budgeting highway maintenance and rehabilitation requirements. In recent years pavement management systems have experienced a significant evolution, on the increasing role of modules increased cost analysis and forecasting as well as the evolution of GIS systems have proved their usefulness (Rusu, Taut, & Jecan, 2015)
(Ruitenburg, Braaksma, & van Dongen, 2014) focused on a multidisciplinary approach considering social, economic, commercial and technological aspects while showing deficiencies in monodisciplinary approaches followed by previous researchers. To reap the benefits of rural low volume roads it is essential to maintain them timely. Rural road network is deteriorating fast due to lack of timely maintenance, leading to higher vehicle operating costs, increasing number of accidents etc. (Agarwal, Khan, & Choudhary, 2016) developed a model considering various factors such as structural condition, traffic operation condition, drainage condition, and traffic safety condition etc. for low volume roads in India. They have assigned weighted values for these parameters by doing surveys and getting opinions from road users, engineers other authorised persons etc. They have developed a hierarchical model based on these parameters to allocate resources for low volume rural roads.
Road accidents during wet weather have been a topic of major concern of road engineers in regions of wet-tropical climate and in other parts of the world during the wet season of the year. Road safety studies indicate that approximately 20% of all road accidents occurred during wet weather, and that the skid resistance of wet pavements have a major influence on the occurrences of accidents. (Fwa, 2017) has studied on skid resistance and pavement management and considered various factors such as speed of vehicle, tyre pressure, road roughness etc. in his simulation. Surveys are done by highway authorities to maintain pavement when it reaches minimum skid resistance threshold.
Figure 3: hierarchical structure for resource allocation to rural road sections
(Santos, Flintsch, & Ferreira, 2017) developed an approach to asset management in a lifecycle perspective the extent to which several pavement engineering solutions, namely hot in-plant recycling mixtures, WMA, cold central plant recycling (CCPR) and preventive treatments, are efficient in improving the environmental and economic dimensions of pavement infrastructure sustainability, when applied either separately or in combination, in the construction and management of a road pavement structure. The main goal of their study was to quantify and compare the life cycle environmental and economic performances of multiple pavement construction and maintenance practices that hold the potential for improving the environmental and economic dimensions of pavement sustainability.
(Bryce, Brodie, Parry, & Presti, 2017) have done their research on assessment on road pavement sustainability by a review of rating tools. Their findings show that many of the analytical tools do not treat the pavement as a system; instead, they seek to optimize individual aspects of the pavement in an effort to increase its sustainability. But as they do not consider the combination of all aspects they are not best tools to design a sustainable pavement. Therefore, a better framework should be developed.
Figure 4: The DPSIR framework showing the relationship between socio-economic activities and the environment through a simplified causal interaction (Smeets and Weterings, 1999).
Fig 5: The DPSIR framework within a performance management framework to evaluate system outcomes.
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Conclusions should state concisely the most important propositions of the paper as well as the author’s views of the practical implications of the results.