Enews - Issue 3 - Spring 2011

Chairman's View

Rob GillespieAsset Management and Surface Treatments

The winter of 2010/11 has impacted our highway network once again, following on from the extreme conditions of the last 2 winters right across the UK. This has continued to cause immense difficulties for local authorities dealing with the deterioration of the highway structure, and this is now in a climate of reduced funding and the drive for improved asset management and network valuation.

The RSTA continues to work hard with our UK highway clients and network managers, to target this deterioration and contribute to the development of clear asset management strategies for the long-term management of one of the nation’s most valuable asset, combining prevention of deterioration with surface improvement, safety with value for money, and full understanding of where specific methods and materials can be deployed to meet the needs of the long-term plan and the immediate strains on budgets. The RSTA has been working in collaboration with senior engineers in ADEPT to fully develop understanding of the long-term value of surface treatments and the positive impacts associated with placing the right treatment on the network, at the right time. How UKPMS condition indices are affected by surface treatments intervention and how this allows our network operators to plan for the long-term is also part of this study. There remains clear evidence from across the UK that where we maintain good levels of preventative surface treatment installations, the long-term integrity of the pavement structure is maintained and improved.

This work compliments the recent studies carried out for the industry by ADEPT, looking into the detailed understanding of how pot-holes form and the wider principles of how carriageways deteriorate under free-thaw conditions. The resultant guidance; Potholes and Repair Techniques for Local Highways, published in 2010 also looks at the maintenance regimes that can be deployed to better guard against deterioration and this is built upon by the ongoing work with ADEPT to establish best practice and the deployment of surface treatments to achieve the very best whole-life value.

This year's RSTA Annual Conference and Dinner further developed the findings of these important projects together with the work that is being completed to fully develop the carbon foot printing and assessment methods for our range of treatments. Long-term asset management is of paramount importance for our UK network going forward and this can be combined with a planned reduction in energy use and carbon emissions through the use of Surface Treatments and through their continued development.

Rob Gillespie
RSTA Chairman

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