2.1 Strategy and Integrated Asset Management
The road system is a vital community asset which provides the platform for road transport and communication, the essential components of the social and economic life of the community at a local and state wide level.
Figure 2.1 illustrates that community benefits (such as economic growth, social activity, etc.) are achieved fully or in part through the performance of the road system (through the provision of access, mobility, efficient travel and transport, etc.).
The optimum performance of the road system is achieved through the integrated management of the capacity, condition, and use of the road infrastructure assets.
Such characteristics are affected by a combination of physical treatments (construction/maintenance) to manage and maintain the asset, together with operational measures to manage how the road system is used so that road users and the general community have access to the road network.
The road agency is responsible and accountable for the management and stewardship of the road system to ensure an acceptable, affordable and sustainable LoS and a level of performance appropriate to the road users and the community.
The key elements of asset management for road networks are presented in Figure 2.1. All elements are inter‑related. The solid diamond background is a representation of such relationships (which, if shown separately, would appear as an extremely complex diagram).
Source: Derived from Austroads (1994, 2006 and 2009).
Asset strategies are important because they provide the road agency with a structured direction-focus to guide its actions, and to demonstrate and articulate its stewardship and practice in providing outcomes to the community.
Asset strategies ensure that there is:
- an integrated approach to the management of the capacity, condition and use of assets
- a consistent approach across all elements of the network and by all geographic parts of the organisation
- transparency and auditable accountability to the community for the rationale of asset management by the road agency, with road system performance standards driven by community objectives and achieved through the efficient and effective management of community road assets.
The processes by which performance-driven asset management strategies are developed are presented in Figure 2.2.
The reciprocal process by which asset management strategies deliver the road system performance in support of community benefits is shown in Figure 2.3.