1.4 Background to Structures Assets in Australia and New Zealand
There are approximately 33 500 road bridges in Australia and 17 000 road bridges in New Zealand in public ownership. More than 800 national, state and local agencies are responsible for managing those bridges. Each of these agencies is required to select an approach to structures management to suit its particular circumstances.
For national and state roads alone, the estimated replacement value of road structures and major culverts in Australia and New Zealand as at June 2014 was approximately A$48b and NZ$7.5b respectively. Further details are shown in Table 1.1.
Expenditure on maintenance of bridges on national and state roads in 2013–14 was estimated to be in the order of A$100m in Australia and NZ$15m in New Zealand. Those amounts do not include the money invested and spent annually:
- by local government on its local road network
- on numerous other structures to which the principles of structure management should equally be applied, e.g. minor culverts, noise walls, large sign support structures, geotechnical structures (retaining walls, rock anchors, gabion walls, protective beaching), tunnels (structural aspects only), etc.
Bridges and culverts typically form the vast majority of structures managed by road agencies. Road agencies usually also manage other structures such as tunnels, large sign supports, retaining walls, noise barriers, pollutant traps and buildings.
The challenge in highway structures management is to ensure that all structures in a road network remain fit–for-purpose over the design life of the asset at minimum life-cycle cost.
A comprehensive and effective management system which ensures the reliability, safety and retained value of the asset is an essential tool to assist the responsible agency to meet this challenge.
The purpose of the structures asset management framework is to underpin consistency in Australia and New Zealand in defining and collecting data on bridge inventory and condition. Improvements in consistency in data collection will facilitate interaction between road agencies in the interests of improving bridge management practice, particularly in data manipulation, analysis and interpretation, and more uniformity in reporting.
|Road agency||Replacement value||Accumulated depreciation||Written down value|
|Roads and Maritime Services (Roads and Maritime), NSW||A$17.332b||A$5.196b||A$12.136b|
|Roads Corporation Victoria (VicRoads), VIC||A$8.216b||A$2.766b||A$5.447b|
|Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland (TMR)(1), QLD||A$15.092b||A$4.942b||A$10.149b|
|Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA), WA||A$5.201b||A$1.473b||A$3.728b|
|Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), SA||A$2.114b||A$0.735b||A$1.379b|
|Department of State Growth Tasmania||A$1.777b||A$0.538b||A$1.238b|
|Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Northern Territory (DIPL), NT||A$1.108b||A$0.451b||A$0.657b|
|Territory Canberra and City Services Directorate (TCCS), ACT||A$1.134b||A$0.016b||A$1.118b|
|NZ Transport Agency (NZTA)||NZ$7.489b||NZ$2.832b||NZ$4.648b|
1 Source: Updated from Austroads (2000).