Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersDefining Needs for Optimized Management of Gravel Road Networks

Defining Needs for Optimized Management of Gravel Road Networks


Unpaved roads account for approximately 60% of Canada’s public road network. Maintaining gravel roads is a major activity for many municipalities and requires regular interventions to provide smooth and safe riding surfaces for road users. Municipalities spend millions of dollars every year on gravel road maintenance and rehabilitation activities. A comprehensive road management system that includes their gravel road network could significantly improve a municipality’s ability to manage their operating and capital budgets. In 2017, the authors undertook a survey of Canadian municipalities related to gravel road maintenance practices. A total of 97 municipalities responded to the survey, representing around 40,000 km of gravel roads. The survey’s main goal was to capture the state-of-practice in gravel road management used by Canadian municipalities and to investigate to what extent municipalities collect data about their gravel roads. This paper discusses the results of that survey and investigates the need for better decision support tools to manage gravel roads. The paper also discusses the required components of a gravel road management system (GRMS), key operational and maintenance consideration, and the implementation of a GRMS through a case study.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Innovations in Pavement Management, Engineering and Technologies
Rashedi, R.
Maher, M.
Barakzai, K.