Assessing and repairing roads and pavements

August 26, 2003

Repairing our roads when and where it is needed was the goal for EUREKA project GEOSECMA-PMS. The project team created a complete software 'toolbox' for municipalities and road authorities to assist them in the maintenance of roads and streets, thereby providing a safer, more comfortable ride for the public and savings for local government.

Hans-Goeran Wilhelmsson, chief executive of KORDAB, lead partner in the project, says the results have benefited citizens as well as planners, "The citizen benefits from more comfortable and safer driving on the streets while the planner has a tool that proposes the most cost effective actions."

The project brought together two specialist companies that had both independently developed systems in two different countries, Sweden and Denmark. GEOSECMA-PMS incorporated these two systems into one integrated product to provide municipalities with a complete, highly efficient tool for planning, evaluation, management and maintenance of municipal property.

"Road authorities may now manage the maintenance of the entire road, including lighting, road signs and other inventory objects, as well as pavement management issues," says Wilhelmsson. "The integrated software takes into account factors such as ruts and cracking in the road surface, the intensity of traffic and the wear it causes, and proposes what actions should be taken within a fixed budget to prolong the residual life of the road or pavement as much as possible."

Information about the pavement material, type of lighting, road signs and kerb material are entered into the system, which then delivers planners and engineers the best options to either repair or replace.

GEOSECMA-PMS also includes the necessary technology to then send out work instructions direct to the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) carried by maintenance staff.

Wilhelmsson argues that a EUREKA project provides a useful basis for the kind of international cooperation that is essential in tackling diverse markets.

"Developing new technology with international partners provides the best platform for commercial success on an international arena," he says. "The combination of know-how and highly specialised competence within the pavement engineering sector produced a commercial software product that was aimed at road authorities around the world and is being used by municipalities in six countries."

It is important not to underestimate cultural differences. "The culture and work procedures are different although the partners were situated in neighbouring countries. We increased the number of meetings between people and soon moved on."

The product is now available in municipal markets in EU countries and Central and Eastern Europe, and is now being targeted at the municipal markets of EU candidate countries Poland and Lithuania.
-end-
EUREKA is ...
A European network for market-oriented R&D
- strengthening European competitiveness
- promoting innovation in market-oriented collaborative projects
- involving industry, research institutes and universities across Europe
- resulting in innovative products, processes and services.

EUREKA

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