2016 Sustainability in Public Works Conference

Building resilience in unsealed roads maintenance programmes: efficiency anchored in financial reality - Stephanie Camarena 

22 August 2016 00:57

S Camarena (1)
1Factor Ten, Vic

This paper summarises the latest research in the context of national and international
asset climate resilience and life-cycle costs assessment trends. Based on Australian on-the-ground
experience, it proposes a step by step approach to sustainable unsealed roads maintenance.
The realities of operating "as we always have" changed and maintaining roads in a world of finite
resources requires a circular view of the work. This pushes all involved in public works to consider
rejuvenating the road by re-cycling in-situ material, stabilising with environmentally friendly additives
and ensuring quality water run off. The benefits need to be calculated over the life cycle of the asset
and include externalities.
However with ongoing cuts to their budgets, raw materials increasing cost and growing road users
expectations, asset managers struggle to move out of the day to day priorities to establish more
resilient and sustainable maintenance regimes.
A series of case studies and research papers were conducted demonstrating the ability to use an
environmentally friendly polymer-based product to stabilise unsealed roads with significant financial
results (70% cost reduction over 5 years), environmental savings (90% carbon emissions, 80% water
usage) and structural benefits (increased density, strength, elasticity and toughness).
Collaboration between suppliers, local councils, universities, engineering and mining companies
provided insights on how to integrate the use of innovative products and methods, and the ability to
present a business case for the long-term financial, operational and environmental benefits.
The results point to increased financial and climate resilience for the maintenance of the assets
demonstrating that it is possible to cut the costs of the maintenance programme whilst improving the
pavement performance. The demonstrated leadership also paid off in the level of innovation and
collaboration shown by the teams involved and how they significantly reduced the environmental
impacts of their activities.

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Uploaded - 22 August 2016