- Publication no: ABC2017-014-17
- Published: 20 April 2017
A key component to improving freight productivity in Australia is to improve access to the network for heavy vehicle operators on a national basis. A nationally consistent framework for theassessment of bridge capacity is critical in achieving this aim. Currently a significant number of bridgeassessments occur using the bridge formula contained in the Performance Based Standards (PBS),however this only allows fast assessments for loads up to the equivalent of the MS18 design load usingthe current bridge formulae. For equivalent loads greater than the MS18 design load a more rigorousassessment process is required to be undertaken by the relevant jurisdiction, often taking considerabletime and resources. To improve the time efficiency of the assessment process there is a need to develop methodologies that can cater for higher loading levels without the need to undertake a more rigorous analysis for every request for access, ideally using an automated process.
Austroads project TP1681 - Review of axle spacing mass schedules proposed a national framework to rapidly and automatically evaluate heavy vehicles for unrestricted access to the network. The framework provides a comprehensive methodology to evaluate heavy vehicle access and has been developed with the intention that it could be administered on a nationally consistent basis. The Austroads project TP1951 follows on from this work, which has focused on the technical validation of the framework on areas agreedto by the various jurisdictional representatives on the project working group. It has also provided the opportunity for framework boundaries to be explored and defined. This paper provides an overview of the project, a summary of the validation and review work completed to date, and a discussion relating to its potential future implementation.