The goal of maintenance is to preserve the asset, not to upgrade it. Unlike major road works, maintenance must be done regularly. Road maintenance comprises of activities to keep pavement, shoulders, slopes, drainage facilities and all other structures and property within the It includes minor repairs and improvements to eliminate the cause of defects and to avoid excessive repetition of maintenance efforts.
For management and operational convenience, road maintenance is categorized as routine, periodic, and urgent:
Routine maintenance, aims to ensure the routine daily possibility and safety of existing roads in the short-run, guarding against the pre-term deterioration of the road. Typical activities include roadside verge clearing and grass cutting, cleaning of silted ditches and culverts, patching, and pothole repair. For gravel roads it may include regrading every six months.
Periodic maintenance, covers activities on a section of road at regular and relatively lengthy intervals, aimed towards conserving the structural stability of the road. They cost more than routine maintenance works and require specific identification and planning for implementation and often even design. Activities can be classified as preventive, resurfacing, overlay, and pavement reconstruction.
Urgent maintenance is undertaken for repairs that cannot be foreseen but require immediate attention, such as collapsed culverts or landslides that block a road.
Roads are among the most important public assets in many countries. Road improvements bring immediate and sometimes dramatic benefits to road users through improved access to hospitals, schools, and markets; improved comfort, speed, and safety; and lower vehicle operating costs. For these benefits to be sustained, road improvements must be followed by a well-planned program of maintenance. Without regular maintenance, roads can rapidly fall into disrepair, preventing realization of the longer term impacts of road improvements on development, such as increased agricultural production and growth in school enrollment.
Postponed or delayed road maintenance, results in high direct and indirect costs. If defects on roads are promptly repaired, this attracts modest costs. Is left neglected, an entire road section may fail completely, requiring full reconstruction at three times or more the cost, on average, of maintenance costs.
In addition to this, neglected roads steadily become more difficult to use, resulting in increased vehicle operating costs i.e. more frequent repairs, more fuel use) and a reluctance by transport operators to use the roads. This imposes a heavy burden on the economy: as passenger and freight services are curtailed, there is a consequent loss of economic and social development opportunities.
Maintenance costs vary with road conditions, traffic volume, geographic location, climate conditions, work methods, technical equipment, and other factors.
Where no maintenance program is in place, cost calculations do not have to be precise at the beginning. The main point is to get started. If calculations of road maintenance need using sophisticated road management systems or complicated formulas seem overwhelming,start with simple rules of thumb. For more information, contact us on 0722 918821.