Development of a Sustainable Pavement Management Strategy for Resurfacing Low Volume Roads in New Brunswick
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The New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is responsible for the rehabilitation and maintenance of approximately 19,650 km of highways and roads. Nearly 85 percent of this network is paved, including 9680 km of low volume highways and roads. Maintaining this network at an acceptable standard requires a significant investment that has become increasingly challenging given current economic and fiscal constraints. Since available funding needs to be directed towards higher priority projects, the rehabilitation costs for low volume roads is escalating as they often require full or partial reconstruction by the time they are treated due to the extent of deterioration. In response, the Department undertook a study to develop a sustainable pavement management strategy to ensure that the most appropriate surface type is selected in the future for each road. The process, which will become part of the Department's Asset Management Program, was to be based on clearly defined and transparent level of service criteria that considered engineering suitability, least life-cycle cost, and functional / service characteristics. The study included a review of existing practices and policies from other jurisdictions, an assessment of key factors to be considered, and the development of a multi-staged, screening decision making framework. Implementing the strategy would result in the conversion of a significant portion of existing low volume asphalt surfaced roads to treated surfaces with an estimated reduction of $4.6 to $6.3 million annually in rehabilitation costs, and place the province in a much stronger position for achieving infrastructure sustainability.