Why monitoring road surface state?

Road maintenance is expensive

Road maintenance is a major cost item for regions and municipalities. Despite large public spending efforts, a lot of roads are not in an acceptable condition. The main reason for this is that current pavement maintenance strategies are most often corrective: the worst roads are addressed first, from filling potholes over rehabilitation to full reconstruction. Priorities are usually based on subjective information such as sporadic city worker reports or citizen’s complaints. This is an inefficient and costly approach, and it has a negative impact on pavement lifetime.

Preventive maintenance

With preventive maintenance, the philosophy is to keep roads in a good shape. In the end, this approach requires much less expensive preservation measures, which considerably extend the lifetime of roads. Over the lifecycle of a road, up to 80% of maintenance costs can be saved this way. Given equal maintenance budget, a preventive strategy will therefore lead to an overall better state of the road network, and in the end, happier citizens.

Preventive maintenance needs to be carried out at the right moment, just when the road state starts to deteriorate: when microscopic cracks and fraying start to occur, and skid resistance starts to decrease. Efficient preventive maintenance therefore requires detailed, up-to-date and objective information on road surface state. This monitoring service is what we offer with Roads.

More information on preventive maintenance measures can be found on the sites of the Belgian Road Research Center and Renoroad (both in Dutch).