Road Design for Future Maintenance Problems
and Possibilities
Hawzheen Karim1 and Rolf Magnusson2
Abstract: This paper presents an investigation conducted to identify obstacles that prevent sufficient consideration of future road
maintenance needs during the road planning and design phase. The investigation focuses on the road planning and design process within
the Swedish Road Administration. For this reason the results are applicable for Nordic conditions concerning road design, maintenance,
and climate. However, the results focus on general aspects of the planning and design process and ought to also be valid for other
conditions outside the Nordic countries. The investigation was carried out using a method called “change analysis,” which consists of
complementary steps for the analysis of problems, processes, and goals in order to identify necessary changes. The investigation identified
several problems within the road planning and design process related to consulting, knowledge, planning and design activities, regulations,
organization structure, and demands from other authorities. The identified problems, activities within the planning and design process, and
goals for the process were analyzed. Based on these analyses the investigation identifies the most urgent needs for change in order to
eliminate the problems that result in insufficient consideration of maintainability during the planning and design process.
DOI: 10.1061/ASCE0733-947X2008134:12523
CE Database subject headings: Highway and road design; Highway engineering; Maintenance.
Background
Road planning includes studying the conditions relevant for
building new roads or improving old ones regarding transportation
demands, climate, topography, geology, and material supplies.
It also includes evaluations of consequences for society,
transportability, traffic safety, and economic development.
Road design means selecting the dimensions of the road and
its components, e.g., width of carriageway, road profile, and type
of road equipment. The process of road planning and design is
complicated due to the numerous components the road consists of
and the different aspects that have to be considered for an optimal
solution.
One important aspect is to consider the possibilities of performing
future maintenance activities. Often the need for a specific
maintenance measure is caused by problems only in a
specific location on the road. The cost of carrying out these measures
can be very high. Some of these problems could probably
be considerably reduced by a more suitable design. The designers
should take maintainability into consideration to a higher extent
than today.
The actors involved in the planning and design process have
different opinions about the reasons for improper consideration of
maintainability. This investigation is carried out to identify the
problems that prevent sufficient consideration of maintenance aspects
and propose improvements using a method called “change
analysis” Goldkuhl and Röstlinger 1998.
Literature Review
Insufficient consideration of maintainability during the road planning
and design process is a well-known problem for actors involved
in this process and in maintenance activities. The
problems of performing maintenance activities and their related
costs are often subject for discussion. This is not reflected in the
literature as the published research within the subject is very limited.
Efforts have been made to compile the various factors in the
road design that generate unnecessary maintenance needs
Gaffeny and Gane 1970. A study has been performed to create a
new methodology for calculating the annual cost of road design
with maintenance in mind Olsson 1983.
Some other studies concerning pavement design, bridges, and
specific roadside components also indirectly consider maintenance
aspects. One study has determined the fill height of embankments
whereby flattening of the slope proved to be cheaper
than the installation of guardrails Neuzil and Peet 1970.
Based on cost-benefit analysis, maintenance costs have been
considered in simplified graphs to determine the need for road
barrier installation Wolford and Sicking 1997. Another study
has compared different guardrail end terminals from a maintenance
point of view Mattingly and Ma 2002. Yet another study
has concluded that a 100 year design life gives the lowest lifecycle
cost for urban residential roads Howard 1991.
1Ph.D. Student, Royal Institute of Technology, School of Architecture
and Built Environment, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering,
Brinellvägen 34, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden; formerly, Ph.D. Student,
School of Industrial Technology and Management, Road
Technology, Dalarna Univ., 781 88 Borlänge, Sweden corresponding
author. E-mail: hah@du.se
2Professor, School of Industrial Technology and Management, Road
Technology, Dalarna Univ., 781 88 Borlänge, Sweden. E-mail: rmg@
du.se
Note. Discussion open until May 1, 2009. Separate discussions must
be submitted for individual papers. The manuscript for this paper was
submitted for review and possible publication on April 17, 2007; approved
on March 3, 2008. This paper is part of the Journal of Transportation
Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 12, December 1, 2008. ©ASCE, ISSN
0733-947X/2008/12-523–531/$25.00.
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Objective and Delimitation of the Investigation
The aim of this investigation was to identify problems that obstruct
due consideration of maintainability during the road planning
and design process. The objective was also to identify urgent
needs for changes to eliminate these problems. Measures to
implement the identified changes were not included in this investigation.
The result of the investigation is expected to contribute
to the design of roads with decreased demand for unnecessary and
costly maintenance measures.
The investigation focused on processes at the Swedish Road
Administration SRA, which is in charge of both country and
urban roads in Sweden. SRA is also responsible for Swedish road
design and maintenance specifications. Another reason for this
delimitation was that the SRA was the initiator for this investigation.
The investigation is also applicable for other Nordic road
authorities as climate, design and construction traditions, and
maintenance are basically similar in those counties. There is also
no reason to believe that most of the results cannot be applicable
for road planning and design outside Nordic countries.
Methodology
For identification and elimination of the problems that obstruct
sufficient consideration of maintainability during the road planning
and design process, it was necessary to evaluate the organization
and its processes, its goals, and regulations. For this reason
the investigation started with the collection of data concerning the
following areas:
• Activities included in road planning and design;
• Actors involved in the activities;
• Goals and regulations that govern the activities;
• Documents that are created during planning and design
process; and
• Organizational structure of the SRA.
The data were collected using interviews and a review of
design-related documents. The main objective of the interviews
was to invent situations perceived as problems by the actors involved
in planning and design or in maintenance activities. A
problem is defined as a situation that is experienced as unsatisfactory
by the involved actors. Experiences from the situation
deviate from the expected results or specific goals valid for the
situation Goldkuhl and Röstlinger 1998. Semistructured interviews
were chosen to give respondents the possibility to answer
in their own words to generate a discussion Trost 2005. Four
categories of actors were interviewed: consultants, maintenance
contractors, persons involved in maintenance activities and in
planning and design within the SRA. Experience, organizational
role, and geographical locations were the main criteria for the
choice of respondents. In total, 45 interviews were carried out
with 53 persons. The interviews were recorded and saved as digital
files.
The second part of the data collection was reviewing
documents that describe the planning and design process, construction,
and consignment Vägverket 2004a,c,d,e,f,g,h. Other
reviewed documents were guidelines for road planning and design
Vägverket 2004i and documents that describe the purchasing
process Vägverket 2004b. These documents were examined
to identify planning and designs activities, and the goals that govern
these activities.
The collected data were analyzed using a method called
change analysis, mostly used in the preliminary phases of investigations
intended to develop organizations or work practices
Goldkuhl and Röstlinger 1998. This method consists of analyzing
problems and goals, formulating the needs for changes, and
deciding the change measures. In change analysis the following
questions are gone through and answered:
• What are the problems?
• What are the activities?
• What are the goals to be fulfilled?
• What are the problems to be eliminated?
• What are the measures to fulfill the goals and eliminate the
problems?
• What are the consequences that can be expected if the measures
are conducted?
• Which combination of measures is the most optimal for the
overall problem situation?
Change analysis in this investigation was conducted in four
steps: analysis of problems, analysis of activities, analysis of
goals, and analysis of the needs for change.
Analysis of Problems
The aim of this analysis was to obtain an overview of the situations
identified as problems and to identify their causes and consequences.
The analysis was carried out in four steps: formulation
of problems, classification of problems, delimitation of problems,
and analysis of the relations between the problems.
The problems were often described in many words and explained
with a lot of examples in the interviews. Some problems
described in different ways proved to be more or less the same
problem. The problem description was then reformulated to combine
several descriptions into one. The identification and formulation
of the problems was carried out without any restriction
concerning type or origin of the problems in order to create a
realistic and comprehensive picture. The problem formulation
was conducted gradually until the descriptions became less complicated,
more distinctive, understandable, unique, well based,
and descriptive.
The previous activity resulted in a list of problems that covered
many different problem areas. To avoid working with all the
problems at the same time and to create a basis for later analysis,
a structure was created by classifying the problems into different
problem areas. Similarities between the problems were identified,
e.g., similar subjects, similar causes, or effects. Problems related
to the same subjects, causes or consequences were included in the
same problem area.
By delimitation of the problem areas those problem areas that
would be included in the change analysis were specified. Due to
time and resource restrictions, this investigation concentrated on
the most urgent problem areas. Problems considered to be out of
the scope of this investigation were excluded.
The next step was the analysis of relations between problems
with the intention of identifying any likely relationship between
the problems in order to understand the problem situation as a
whole. Correlations between the problems were then analyzed
through studying each problem individually to find its relation to
other problems. This analysis was a cause/consequence correlation
Fig. 1. Problem C is caused by factors A and B cause
correlation. Problem C results in problem D consequence correlation
. Factors A and B have to be considered as problems as
they are the underlying causes for problems C and D. To eliminate
problems C and D both problems A and B should be eliminated.
For each problem area, this principle was used to illustrate
the relation between the problems in the form of a graph called
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the problem graph. These graphs were the bases for the evaluation
of the problems during the analysis of need for change.
Analysis of Activities
The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the activities included in
the planning and design process to understand how the process
was conducted, identify problems not mentioned by the respondents,
and correlate problems to activities. The planning and design
process at SRA consists of four subprocesses: prestudy
establishment, road investigation, work-plan establishment, and
construction document establishment. In addition, this analysis
also covered three other subprocesses: purchasing, construction,
and consignment. The latter three subprocesses are not part of the
planning and design process, but they still have a direct influence
on that process.
Analysis of the activities began by describing action patterns
within each subprocess to clarify how different documents were
treated and how administration activities were performed within
the processes. The sequences of the activities, the results of the
activities, and the responsible actors were identified. Relations
between the activities and between actors responsible for conducting
the activities were illustrated by describing the flow of
documents between different activities, methods of consulting and
cooperation, as well as relations between actors.
Analysis of Goals Governing the Planning
and Design Process
The analysis was carried out in three steps. The first step was to
identify the goals that govern the planning and design process.
These were identified both by reviewing documents in which
the goals were documented and by analyzing the recorded interviews.
Efforts were taken to differentiate between main goals and
subgoals.
The second step, analysis of the relation between goals, aimed
to determine in which way subgoals contribute to the fulfillment
of each other and the main goals. The fulfillment of each goal was
examined to determine if it has negative or positive contributions
to the fulfillment of other goals.
The third step was the goal evaluation, which aimed to identify
goals relevant for maintainability during planning and design.
This was done by examining how the existing goals contribute to
the consideration of maintainability during planning and design.
Analysis of Need for Change
The intention of this analysis was to identify the most urgent
needs for change. Earlier analyses of problems, activities, and
goals constituted the basis for this analysis, which was conducted
in two steps: evaluation of identified problems and formulation of
the need for changes.
The evaluation of problems was done with the objective of
determining the most important problems to be solved and to find
out the problems pertinent to the needs for change. The problem
graphs established during the analysis of problems were the main
bases for this evaluation. During this activity the problems were
divided into three different statuses according to the following
criteria:
• No solution to the problem NSP: if the problem has no solution
or has a solution outside the scope of this investigation.
• Solved problem SP: if the identified problem was already
solved or in the process of being solved.
• Needs for change NC: these problems seem urgent to eliminate
and they can be eliminated by changes within the planning
and design process.
For the last category of the problems, priority was set according
to the following criteria:
• A problem that was the cause for several other problems.
• A problem that was connected to high costs or that can result
in serious consequences.
• A problem that was crucial to the solution of another problem.
• A problem that was stressed during the interviews.
• A problem that was relatively simple to eliminate, thus generating
a large positive effect for little effort.
Generally, a low priority was given to problems that could be
solved entirely by solving another problem. The problems given
the status NC were all given a priority according to the abovementioned
criteria. The sum of priorities from all criteria gave
each problem the priority high or low. In the problem graphs the
problems given high priority were then analyzed further by combining
them and analyzing the consequences of changes. Based
on this the most urgent needs for change were formulated. The
aim of this activity was to indicate the needs for changes that
could contribute to the elimination of the identified problems. The
changes were identified without specifying any measures to fulfill
them. In this phase of the investigation it was important to focus
on the problems but also to study strengths and possibilities that
the road authority and other involved actors in planning and design
have.
Results
The following presents a description of the problems, the activities
in the processes, the goals, and the identified needs for
change.
Analysis of Problems
As mentioned before, this activity was carried out in four steps:
identification and formulation of the problems, classification of
problems, and delimitation of problems.
Problem A cause Problem B cause
Problem C
cause
Problem D
consequence
consequence
Fig. 1. Principle for analysis of relations between the identified
problems
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Identification and Formulation of the Problems
During the interviews the respondents presented more than 100
situations perceived as problems preventing sufficient consideration
of maintainability. Most of the problems were identified
during the interviews. A few more were identified during the
analysis phases. The analyses reduced that number to 46 problems
shown in the list of problems presented in the Appendix.
Classification of Problems
The problems identified and formulated in the previous activity,
were classified into six problem areas:
1. Insufficient consulting: consulting between actors involved
in maintenance activities and in planning and design is limited
to only a few meetings. Several of those are arranged
during the construction phase. Any design correction during
this late phase will be difficult and costly to realize. This
problem area includes Problems 3, 8, 9–11, 30–33, and 40–
44.
2. Insufficient knowledge: this problem area contains problems
related to knowledge regarding road planning and design and
road maintenance. Insufficient consideration of maintainability
often depends on the fact that project managers or consultants
do not have sufficient knowledge about the costs and
performance of maintenance activities. Included in this area
are Problems 4, 12, 14, 13, 17, 24–29, and 42.
3. Regulations without maintainability consideration: regulations
for the planning and design process are often created
without sufficient consideration to maintainability, something
which the consultants seldom are aware of. As a result, road
designs consistent with these regulations will not cover
maintainability aspects. This problem area includes Problems
12–14, 34, 35, and 42.
4. Insufficient planning and design activities: deficiency in
planning and design activities results in choosing road designs
that require costly and unnecessary maintenance activities.
For example, the limited investment budget forces
project managers and consultants to select cheaper road designs,
which require costly maintenance measures. This
problem area includes Problems 3, 5–16, 18–23, 36, 42, and
45.
5. Inadequate organization: problems in this area are related to
the organizational structure of road authorities. A linear organization
often leads to poor coordination between different
processes and activities of road authorities, which results in
poor exchange of knowledge and experience within the authorities.
This problem area includes Problems 12, 30, and
37–43.
6. Demands from other authorities: during the planning and design
phases, municipalities and county administrations
present arguments and requirements that are perceived as
more important than maintainability, which means that maintainability
is often overlooked. This problem area includes
Problem 46.
Delimitation of Problems
Subjects for further analysis were four problem areas: insufficient
consulting, insufficient knowledge, regulations without maintainability
consideration, and insufficient planning and design activities.
These problem areas have a direct connection to the planning
and design process.
The problem area concerning inadequate organization was excluded
in this investigation as the organizations are frequently
changed and differ considerably among road authorities. The
problem area related to demands from other authorities was also
excluded. Examination of these problems requires a more indepth
analysis of authorities such as municipalities, counties, and
the European Union which requires a lot of work but with probably
minimal benefit.
Analysis of Relations between Problems
This analysis revealed the causes and consequences of each
problem. A structure in the form of graphs called “problem
graphs” was created for the problems within each problem area
Figs. 2–5. These graphs constitute an important basis for identifying
problems that caused other problems or were consequences
of other problems and crucial for elimination of other
problems according to the priority criteria.
Analysis of Activities
The analysis of activities made the correlation between planning
and design activities more understandable. The divisions responsible
for planning and design activities were identified together
with other involved divisions at the SRA and other involved
organizations. In addition, the inputs and outputs for each activity
were illustrated. A few more problems mentioned in the problem
list were identified during this analysis. This analysis also
revealed in which activity a particular problem originated and
also how difficult it could be to solve it.
Analysis of Goals Governing the Planning
and Design Process
The SRA controls its activities through established goals and result
demands formed on the basis of needs in society. The basis
for these goals is the overall transportation-related policy goal
that was established by the Swedish Parliament in 1998.
Fig. 2. Problem graph for the problem area insufficient consulting
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Identification of Goals
The overall transport-related policy goal in Sweden is a socioeconomically
efficient and long-term sustainable transport system
for individuals and business communities throughout the country
Vägverket 2006. This comprehensive goal is clarified in six subgoals.
For each subgoal, one or more long-term stage goals are
established. Each stage goal is broken down into one or more
operational goals, which are short-term goals formulated during
the annual activity planning. The operational goals constitute the
basis for the creation of several specific project goals for each
road construction or road improvement project. These project
goals, which are unique for each project, are formed during the
road investigation subprocess.
In addition to the above-mentioned goals, which are considered
as documented goals, there are other important aspects that
also control planning and design, e.g., budget or time restraints.
These aspects are considered as nondocumented goals and they
are as important as the documented goals.
Analysis of the Relation between Goals
To achieve the project goals for each road construction project,
several measures are chosen. An important basis for selection
Fig. 3. Problem graph for the problem area insufficient knowledge
Fig. 4. Problem graph for the problem area regulation without
maintainability consideration
Fig. 5. Problem graph for the problem area insufficient planning and
design activity
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of a particular measure is the SRA’s document “New construction
and improvement—influence correlations” Vägverket 2001,
which describes the consequences of the different measures taken
within the road transportation system. For example, to increase
traffic safety on a specific road section, a reduction of the number
of fatalities and severe injuries by a certain percentage can
be formulated as a specific project goal. To achieve this project
goal, measures such as separation of conflict points, levelseparated
intersections, safety barriers, and wildlife fences can be
taken.
Usually, a selected measure that aims to achieve a specific
project goal has a negative effect on other specific project goals
for the same project, and thus conflicts between the goals arise.
An example of such a conflict is the selection of speed-reduction
measures, which increase traffic safety at the expense of traffic
quality and accessibility. Other conflicts appear due to the restricted
budget frame, which sets a limit for the selection of efficient
measures. To reduce goal conflicts, measures are selected
after balancing the different project goals. This balancing is often
performed by using socioeconomic cost-benefit calculations. A
specific measure seldom leads to achieving all the goals.
Evaluation of Goals
The analyses of goals revealed that the SRA has not established
any clearly defined long-term goals concerning future maintenance
and confirmed that this is a problem and a cause for other
problems. None of the stage goals or operational goals cover
maintainability even if the overall transportation-related policy
goal indicates a cost-efficient transportation system. Absence of
well-defined goals concerning maintainability leads to insufficient
consideration of these aspects. Due to this fact, requirements to
fulfill existing operational goals concerning other aspects often
direct planning and design toward the selection of road designs
that may require costly maintenance measures.
Nondocumented goals, e.g., the budget frame, also dictate
planning and design. For each project, a budget is established
during the road investigation subprocess. This budget is often set
many years before the construction work begins. The presupposition
and calculations in the budget can then be out of date, which
means that the costs can be underestimated. This can force road
authorities to select designs with low acquisition costs, which
later may incur high maintenance costs.
Analysis of Need for Change
This analysis consisted of two phases: evaluation of problems and
formulation of needs for change.
Evaluation of Problems
Based on the problem graphs, the identified problems were classified
into four different status groups: thirty seven problems as
“need for change” status NC, seven problems as “no solution to
the problem” status NSP, and two problems as “solved problem”
status SP.
A prioritizing of the NC problems in accordance with the five
criteria, mentioned in the section entitled “Methodology” resulted
in 24 problems with high priority and 13 problems with lower
priority see the Appendix.
Formulation of Need for Change
On the basis of the problem and goal evaluations, several needs
for change were identified. The most urgent need is the establishment
of well-defined and long-term stage goals for road maintenance.
These stage goals should be possible to break down into
operational goals which give maintainability significance in the
planning and design process. It must also be possible to evaluate
the fulfillment of operational goals at the end of each road project.
An optimal life-cycle cost including maintenance costs can be
such an operational goal. Establishment of long-term stage goals
for road maintenance will contribute to the elimination of Problems
5–8, 16, 21, 33, and 42.
During the planning and design process, there is a great need
for well-structured systems for consulting and knowledge exchange
between actors involved in maintenance activities and
in planning and design. This consulting process has to be carried
out by designated actors and through well-defined activities in
accordance with the established guidelines. Consulting process
expenses should be a specified component of the planning and
design budget. Establishment of well-structured systems for
consulting and knowledge exchange will contribute to the elimination
of Problems 5, 7–9, 11–14, 17, 19–21, 23–29, 31–33, 38,
41, and 44.
Increased knowledge concerning road design in order to support
future maintenance is needed within road authorities, contractors,
and consultant firms. This knowledge is the basis for
adequate consideration of maintainability. For this reason an efficient
feedback system is required between the maintenance process
to the planning and design process. An important part of such
a system would be the registration of expenses for maintenance
measures that have to be performed due to inappropriate road
design. Increased knowledge concerning maintainability will contribute
to the elimination of Problems 5, 7–9, 11–14, 16–20, 23–
29, 31–34, 38, 41, and 45.
An evaluation process with clear guidelines should be carried
out for each completed road project as a part of the quality assurance
system. This process should ensure that the performance of
maintenance measures is taken into consideration to a satisfactory
degree for each road project. Implementation of an efficient
evaluation process will contribute to the elimination of Problems
5, 7, 8, 17, 20, 30, 33, and 38.
There is a great need to complete guidelines, legislation, and
other documents that govern planning and design with maintenance
aspects. Consideration of maintenance aspects in these
documents will contribute to the elimination of Problems 3, 5–7,
9–11, 12–14, 16–21, 23–25, 27–33, 38, 41, and 44.
Requests for quotations and other purchasing-related documents
should contain clear guidelines concerning maintainability,
e.g., requirements for maintenance management plans or requirements
for optimization of life-cycle cost. Implementation of these
changes in the request for quotations will contribute to the elimination
of Problems 5, 6, 8, 18, 20, 29, 33, 38, 41, 44, and 45.
There is a need for increased incentives within the consulting
firms to get them to pay more attention to maintainability during
planning and design. Compensation in the form of bonus points
during the evaluation of quotations can be an option for consulting
firms that consider the maintainability aspects. Increased incentives
will contribute to the elimination of Problems 5, 7, 8, 18,
29, 24, and 33.
Discussion and Conclusions
The problem analysis indicates a complex combination of problems
that result in insufficient consideration of maintainability
aspects during the road planning and design process. Many problems,
e.g., Problems 13 and 12, belong to two or more problem
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areas Figs. 3–5. Problem areas that contribute to the main problem
are also affected by the existence of related problems found
in other problem areas. For example, insufficient consulting leads
to insufficient knowledge regarding maintainability, which leads
to regulations without consideration of maintainability and inadequate
planning and design Fig. 6. On the other hand, regulations
without consideration of maintainability result in insufficient
consulting. This indicates that the problem areas are closely related.
None of the problem areas can be completely eliminated in
isolation of the other areas. On the other hand, the elimination of
one problem area can also contribute to the elimination of problems
in other problem areas.
The absence of a well-defined goal concerning maintenance is
a fundamental source of inadequate consideration of maintainability
aspects. This is also the reason why improper planning and
design regarding maintainability is not considered as a problem.
The nonexistence of such goals makes the road authority more
concerned about the fulfillment of goals related to other aspects,
e.g., aesthetic and traffic safety aspects, which often result in road
designs with costly maintenance requirements.
The analysis of the activities, confirms the claims of the respondents
regarding poor consulting among actors involved in
maintenance activities and in planning and design. One reason for
poor communication between the actors can be inadequate organizational
structure of road authorities.
On the basis of the analysis of problems, activities, and goals
the following needs for changes have been identified to eliminate
insufficient consideration of maintainability aspects during the
planning and design process:
• An urgent need to set-up well-defined and long-term goals for
maintenance along with methods to evaluate the fulfillment of
these goals.
• Development of well-structured systems for experience exchange
and consultation among actors involved in maintenance
activities and in the planning and design process.
• Increased knowledge regarding road maintenance among actors
involved in planning and design.
• Development of a systematic evaluation process with clear
guidelines for the examination of completed road projects to
ensure adequate consideration of maintenance as part of a
quality assurance system.
• Addition of maintainability in the planning and design-related
guidelines, regulations, and other documents.
• Creation of guidelines and requirements for future maintenance
considerations, which should be incorporated into requests
for quotations and other purchasing-related documents.
• Creation of incentives for consultants to consider maintainability
aspects during the planning and design process to a sufficient
extent.
Implementation of these changes will contribute to design of
roads that do not require unnecessary and costly maintenance
measures. This will increase the efficiency of maintenance activities
dealing with future challenges regarding funding gaps. Implementation
of these changes requires further studies to establish
effective and long-term solutions. It is important to avoid measures
that require a lot of resources. At the same time, it must be
realized that efforts toward change and development always require
new resources. The optimal solution can be to select measures
that can solve several problems simultaneously. It is also
important to study all possible positive and negative consequences
of these measures on the actors involved in planning and
design.
Further studies will be conducted to create a life-cycle cost
model. Such a model will contribute to sufficient consideration of
maintainability aspects during road design. This model will constitute
a basis on which to select the design that gives an optimal
life-cycle cost. These studies will be conducted as case studies,
initially including few road components. This model will then be
developed to include other road components.
Acknowledgments
This paper was prepared from an investigation conducted within a
doctoral project “Road design for lower maintenance” at Dalarna
University. Financial support provided by the Swedish Road Administration
through the Centre for Maintenance of Infrastructure
CDU is gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are extended to
the members of the project control group and all the respondents
for their contributions to the results of the investigation. The writers
especially appreciate the assistance of Associate Professor
Owen Ericsson and Mrs. Sarah Berglind.
Appendix. Problem List
P1: Road designs that cause unnecessary and costly maintenance
measures.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P2: Insufficient consideration of maintainability during the road
planning and design process.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P3: Requests for quotations and other purchasing documents do
not consider maintainability aspects.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P4: The maintenance department often carries out the reconstruc-
Fig. 6. Relation between problem areas
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tion of improper designs without informing the planning and design
department about the problems with such designs.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P5: For curiosity, aesthetic reasons, or ambition to stimulate
technical development, project managers, consultants, or architects
select new designs or products without consideration of
maintainability.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P6: Road authorities do not demand maintenance plan descriptions
from consultants for the proposed road designs.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P7: Maintainability is easily forgotten during the planning and
design process. The road authorities prioritize aspects such as
environmental considerations or traffic safety more than maintainability
aspects.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P8: Requests for quotations do not contain demands concerning
consulting between the consultants and actors involved in the
maintenance process. This makes the designers believe that maintainability
is of less importance.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P9: A limited investment budget prevents sufficient consideration
of maintainability during planning and design.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P10: Project managers are forced to keep the acquisition costs
low during the calculation of project expenses.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P11: Project managers from road authorities rarely involve designers
during the construction phases in order to reduce costs
that might be incurred by new demands from the designers.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P12: The road authorities do not have an experience feedback
process between actors involved in maintenance activities and in
planning and design.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P13: The road authorities have no database for the collection of
experiences regarding inappropriate road designs.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P14: The cost of maintenance measures due to improper road
design is not properly pursued.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P15: It is difficult to calculate the costs for road maintenance
measures before the work plans are established.
Evaluation: NPS
P16: Road authorities do not make life-cycle cost analyses for the
proposed road designs during planning and design.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P17: The investment department does not get information from
the maintenance department concerning costs and difficulties related
to maintenance measures.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P18: Actors involved in planning and design process have no
incentives that encourage sufficient consideration of maintainability
during planning and design.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P19: Until roads have been in operation for a few years, it is hard
to predict difficulties concerning maintainability.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P20: The road authorities often exclude maintainability in the
final evaluation of road construction projects.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P21: The land redemption process is a time-consuming process
that road authorities try to avoid by selecting designs which require
less land redemption. Consideration of maintainability is
then neglected.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P22: Due to delays in the road planning process caused by
changes to the construction plan or prioritization of other projects,
actual acquisition costs will exceed predicted costs. To keep the
expenses within budget, road authorities are forced to select
cheaper designs without consideration of maintainability.
Evaluation: SP
P23: Time and budget constraints force the road authorities to
choose designs that are not optimal for maintenance.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P24: Road authorities rarely require that consultants must have
knowledge of maintenance-related guidelines and regulations.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P25: During recruitment of designers and project managers, experience
of maintenance is not considered as a qualification.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P26: The career of the designer often starts directly after graduation,
without having any experience of road construction or road
maintenance.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P27: Educational programs for actors involved in planning and
design do not consider road maintainability.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P28: Road designers assume that maintainability is considered
during the establishment of design-related guidelines and regulations.
If they follow these guidelines they believe maintainability
will be sufficiently considered.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P29: Road authorities do not require consultants to use maintenance
experts to deal with maintenance-related questions.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P30: Road authority management has no appropriate established
methods for following up the process performance.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P31: Consultants have insufficient financial resources to perform
maintenance-related consulting on their own initiative.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P32: Limited investment budgets reduce consulting among actors
involved in maintenance activities and planning and design.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P33: Consultants and road authorities underestimate maintainability
problems due to inappropriate road designs.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P34: Absence of maintenance experts during the creation of design
and planning-related regulations and guidelines.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P35: According to the public purchasing directive, the road authorities
are not allowed to demand specific materials or products
in the requests for quotations, even if experience shows that those
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products contribute to reduced maintenance costs.
Evaluation: NPS
P36: Due to insufficient general rules for consulting works in
architectural and engineering activities ABK96 Byggnadets
Kontraktskommitte 1996 road authorities have a limited ability
to claim compensation from consultants for the reconstruction
expenses of improper road design.
Evaluation: NPS
P37: The status of actors involved in planning and design is
sometimes considered higher than the status of maintenance actors,
which contributes to the absence of consulting between the
actors.
Evaluation: SP
P38: Information is improperly spread among different departments
within the road authorities.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P39: Development of the different processes within the road authorities
is carried out in isolation from each other. The organization
as a whole is not optimized.
Evaluation: NPS
P40: Time, knowledge, and sometimes interest from management
is sometimes not sufficient for the establishment of consultation
guidelines between different departments and different processes.
Evaluation: NPS
P41: Road authorities have no guidelines for the coordination of
different processes.
Evaluation: NC Priority: low
P42: Road authorities have no long-term goals concerning maintainability.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P43: Road authorities have an insufficient organizational structure
to deal with the coordination of different processes.
Evaluation: NPS
P44: The maintenance department does not have enough time or
resources to review work plans and other construction-related
documents before the start of construction.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P45: The designers have no model for the calculation of maintenance
costs for suggested road designs.
Evaluation: NC Priority: high
P46: Municipalities and county administrations present arguments
that are perceived to be more important than maintenance aspects.
Evaluation: NPS
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