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Research Report 638 Network and asset management: benefits of real-time data

Published: | Category: Activity management , Research programme , Research & reports

Data is essential for understanding the demands placed on road assets and transport networks. There is an opportunity through advances in real-time technologies to improve the delivery of network management and asset management activities. This requires an understanding of both the real-time technologies that are available, and the real-time information needs of network managers and asset managers. This research investigated the applications of real-time technologies and data in asset and network management. This included identifying a range of opportunities for expanding the use of real-time technology, for example by making better use of existing datasets and improving the detection of incidents and defects. A range of challenges were also identified, including the difficulties of working with ‘big’ real-time datasets, the risk of reliance on technology and the need for specialist expertise to develop real-time applications.

Research Report 637 The future of employment and economic activity and its transport and land use implications

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report reviewed literature relating to the potential effects that automation and new technologies will have on the type, nature and characteristics of employment in the industrial, service and commercial sectors. The findings of that review were then supplemented with interviews of key sector representatives from large New Zealand companies and organisations. This took place between October 2016 and February 2017. Together the literature review and stakeholder interviews were used to confirm a methodology and define the parameters and assumptions of scenarios to test possible future employment and land use requirements. Those requirements were assessed for four scenarios and a business as usual baseline to explain the potential effects that automation and new technologies will have on the type, nature and characteristics of employment and land use in the industrial, service and commercial sectors. This work took place between February and July 2017.

Analysis of piled bridges at sites prone to liquefaction and lateral spreading in New Zealand

Published: | Category: Structures (bridges & culverts) , Research & reports | Audiences: Road traffic engineers & consultants, Roading contractors

This report presents a summary of the outcomes of a follow-on project to a research project commissioned by the NZ Transport Agency that culminated in the publication of research report 553 The development of design guidance for bridges in New Zealand for liquefaction and lateral spreading effects. This project has involved summarising the pseudo-static approach developed in the research project for the analysis of bridge foundations on sites prone to liquefaction and presents two examples of the evaluation of the liquefaction hazard and two examples of the analysis of piled bridges on sites prone to liquefaction. This report is intended for engineers who are familiar with geotechnical and structural design practice for static and seismic loading of bridges. See also research report 553 The development of design guidance for bridges in New Zealand for liquefaction and lateral spreading effects.

Research Report 632 Framework for review and prioritisation of rail safety risks in New Zealand

Published: | Category: Safety, security and public health , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: General, Rail participants, Road controlling authorities, Road traffic engineers & consultants

The Transport Agency commissioned Navigatus Consulting to undertake this research project to identify and provide evidence-based recommendations for managing priority safety risks for New Zealand rail operations. The project was carried out in 2015/16 in New Zealand. The primary purpose of the project was to provide a reliable foundation for future risk reduction activities by carrying out research on best and current risk practice, undertaking a risk assessment to identify priority safety risks, and identifying potential mitigation options to reduce these priority risks to an acceptable level. A number of recommendations have been made relating to the research undertaken. Keywords: acceptable risk, benchmarking, health and safety, HSWA, NRSS4, rail, reasonably practicable, risk assessment, risk management, safety, SFAIRP.

Research Report 633 Analysis and interpretation of New Zealand long-term pavement performance data

Published: | Category: Activity management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

A comprehensive statistical analysis and review of the dataset was undertaken on the March 2015 LTPP database, including application of transformations on the skewed raw data. Following a detailed analysis, it was found that the numerical data available to undertake a statistical analysis to identify factors that need to be present for accelerated condition trending was not sufficiently robust. It is not possible to find useful or significant correlations with this data set as it stands

A manual investigation by a person with extensive experience in road engineering and maintenance was undertaken. This investigated engineering explanations for the sites highlighted by the statistical analysis, which involved interpreting site photographs, notes and construction records. This review was unable to identify any reliable data to show pavements displaying cracking are at a higher risk of failure.

Research Report 634 Effect of road seal type on resistance to traffic stresses

Published: | Category: Activity management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report details research carried out from 2016 to 2017 as the preparatory stage of a larger programme to understand how chipseals may be improved to withstand increases in horizontal shear forces imposed by traffic loadings. The research aimed to develop an understanding of mechanisms and factors that lead to chip loss resulting from surface shear stresses, and to develop a methodology for testing seal performance under realistic but controlled laboratory conditions. The report commences with a literature review to collate and examine existing data and experience on seal selection and chip loss processes from New Zealand and overseas. Physical mechanisms, site and vehicle factors that contribute to seal damage are also investigated. Finally, an experimental test method and plan is developed to quantitatively compare and evaluate the effect of seal and binder type on overall seal performance in the laboratory, but under realistic loading and temperature conditions.

Research Report 635 Pavement maintenance patch trials

Published: | Category: Activity management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

There is anecdotal evidence that pavement maintenance patches fail within a few years and research was undertaken to develop a framework for predicting the life of patches to enable asset managers to choose the right treatment to give the life required with the lowest whole-of-life costs. A total of 12 maintenance patches were constructed consisting of cement stabilisation (two cement contents 1. 5 percent and 3 percent); mill and asphaltic concrete inlay; and full depth granular reconstruction replicated on three different state highways. These maintenance patches were treated as full pavement renewals in terms of testing and investigation prior to their construction. This information allowed basic pavement characteristics, such as the impact of traffic; pavement depth (adequate, inadequate or very inadequate); aggregate quality (good, average or poor); and pavement deflection (high, medium or low), to be determined prior to patching.

Research Report 631 Benefits and costs of different road expenditure activities

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: Road traffic engineers & consultants

This research report examines how benefit and cost appraisals for road operations, maintenance and renewal, and minor work improvements could be undertaken in a manner comparable with the appraisal framework for capital investments.  

In addition, this research seeks to answer what the target level of service should be for each classification of road across the entire network; what the marginal benefits and costs of changes are to the network-wide target level of service for a classification of road; and what the optimal split is between resilience improvements, safety improvements and operational improvements, particularly for minor work improvements. Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, decision support tool, maintenance, minor works, operations

Research Report 628 Standardisation of laboratory compaction energies

Published: | Category: Activity management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This research reviewed the New Zealand vibrating hammer laboratory compaction test and energy standardisation thereof. The area of laboratory aggregate compaction was found to have significant problems with variability of results and reduced correlations with field compaction results, which suggests there are problems with standardisation of the compaction energies used. A list of components of the New Zealand vibrating hammer test as it is actually performed in laboratories throughout New Zealand is provided, with each component introducing a larger or smaller amount of variability into the results. Methods of rectifying each component are identified to improve the standardisation of compaction energy and recommendations are made into how an alternative test method might be developed, tested and compared to the existing methods. Keywords: compaction, compaction effort, compaction energy, granular materials, laboratory compaction, maximum dry density (MDD), optimal moisture content, vibrating hammer, vibrating table

Research Report 623 Effects of land transport activities on New Zealand’s endemic bat populations: reviews of ecological and regulatory literature

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: General, Road traffic engineers & consultants

Roading projects may have adverse effects on indigenous wildlife. In New Zealand the effects of roading on long-tailed bats (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) is an issue and projects have attempted to monitor and mitigate effects on bats populations. However, how to undertake monitoring and mitigation is unclear. The New Zealand Transport Agency commissioned Wildland Consultants, Landcare Research and AECOM to:

review the literature on effects and mitigation of roads on bats, and relevant statutory processes
research road effects on long tailed bats
develop a framework for managing these effects. Roads affect bats by severing their flight paths and depleting roosting habitat by removing trees. Most bat road research has quantified effects on behaviour rather than population survival, making prediction of effects difficult. No studies have demonstrated any mitigation options to be effective for bats.