Fugro is contributing its road survey expertise to major research by the CEDR (Conference of European Directors of Roads) to help Europe better manage its ageing highways.
The global survey specialist is part of a consortium undertaking seminal research into high-speed surveys after successfully bidding under the CEDR Transnational Road Research Programme: Call 2013.
Fugro experts are working on the ground penetrating radar (GPR) component of the TRL-led project HiSPEQ (High-speed survey specifications, explanation and quality). This was among three research proposals selected under ‘Ageing Infrastructure Management’, one of five themes forming the CEDR Call 2013.
HiSPEQ was the winning bid in the specific research area of ‘High speed non-destructive condition assessment of road pavements and interacting assets’. Other partners in the project are AIT (Austria), VTI (Sweden), ZAG (Slovenia) and COWI (Denmark).
The Ageing Infrastructure Management package includes projects in two other research areas: ‘Understanding risk factors in managing ageing infrastructure’ and ‘Common cost breakdown framework for road assets’. The 3-year, €1.3m programme is being funded by Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, UK and Slovenia, and being managed on behalf of CEDR by the National Roads Authority in Ireland.
HiSPEQ aims to deliver improvements to the process of describing high-speed survey equipment, specifying the requirement for surveys/survey equipment, and the regimes that should be applied to ensure the quality of data delivered. It will also improve the ability to obtain good value from the measured data by making use of the best derived parameters to assess condition within asset management systems.
The project is drawing on stakeholder consultation, current best practice and the extensive experience of consortium members in developing and delivering high-speed surveys, survey equipment and survey specifications. It will also identify the data that can be collected on road networks to measure surface condition, structural condition and road structure at high speed and the type of equipment that can be used to collect these data.
Fugro is responsible for researching the use and application of GPR, including its role in maximising value from other data streams, notably Traffic Speed Deflectometer (TSD), as well as for the overall evaluation of road condition, deterioration, residual life and asset maintenance planning.
Transport experts from Fugro offices in Cambridge (UK) are already underway with initial research into current practice and technology for GPR collection and use across the European road network.
A key focus of HiSPEQ will be the delivery of outputs that can be implemented by road administrations via interactive guidance and templates that can be taken forward by individual road administrations to form the basis for developing strategies and specifications for their own network surveys. Updates on the research will be made available at www.hispeq.com.
The programme is due to run until April 2016.
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