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The Impact of Preventive Maintenance Programs on the Condition of Roadway Networks


The condition of our roads and highways greatly contributes to the overall vitality of the Canadian economy. By improving ride quality, extending pavement life and ensuring safety, effective pavement preventive maintenance programs will help to allow people and goods to move safely and insure that our road network remains in good condition. Many pavement owner/agencies are now focusing on maintaining the overall value of their roadway assets and are striving to make better-informed decisions on how they allocate funding to minimize the deterioration of their assets. This new form of management referred to as Asset Management has clearly identified the benefits of strong pavement preventive maintenance programs compared to the commonly used “worst-first” repair approach. Pavement maintenance and rehabilitation needs studies frequently indicate that current funding levels are not sufficient to maintain the road system at an optimal level of service. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities indicates that Canada is facing a massive infrastructure debt totaling an estimated $ 57 billion. These funding shortfalls are considerable and a significant increase in funding is not likely. A strong pavement preventive maintenance program offers an opportunity to help close the gap between pavement maintenance needs and optimal pavement condition to better serve the traveling public. An effective pavement preventive maintenance program encompasses a full range of techniques with the goal of enhancing pavement performance in a cost-effective and efficient manner. A framework of mix-of-fix strategies, which includes a balance between pavement preventive maintenance work along with pavement rehabilitation and reconstruction, can assist a road agency to maintain an overall acceptable pavement condition while meeting the needs of the traveling public. This concept, as simple as it seems, has not been fully accepted by roadway agencies, who continue to react to problems after they occur rather than to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This paper outlines the concept of a coordinated preventive maintenance and mix-of-fixes approach and how it may be integrated into a framework of pavement and asset management for municipal agencies. The paper provides details on common preventive maintenance techniques that can contribute to the effectiveness of a mix-of-fixes approach.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Hein*, D
Croteau**, JM
Construction, Maintenance and operations, Pavements