Bringing pavement design into the fast lane

Can you think of a more fitting place to update your pavement knowledge than in the pit lane of the Townsville V8 supercar circuit? This is what 20 cadets, technical officers, engineers, infrastructure managers and team leaders did just recently.

The participants, from various local and state government bodies, understood the benefits that ongoing professional development would have not only for their own benefit, but also for ratepayers and taxpayers who expect engineering solutions that provide the best value for money.

The Australian design guide for road pavements has recently undergone its largest technical change in more than a decade. Following several years of research funded by Austroads, some past assumptions that erred on the conservative side were able to be fine-tuned based on new knowledge arising from this research and understanding.

The axle configurations of the Australian heavy vehicle fleets have changed considerably, and in some parts of Australia far more than others. The new design method now allows for reduced pavement thickness whilst maintaining quality and integrity, leading to very significant financial savings especially on major projects.

‘Reliability factors’ have been adjusted to reflect higher confidence levels due to better knowledge. This enables designers to reduce pavement thickness, significantly reducing construction material costs and freeing up funding for additional work.

It is this improved knowledge that the course attendees were looking for. The Centre for Pavement Education (CPEE), a highly specialist training provider endorsed by Austroads, was engaged to work directly with the organisers to provide continuing professional development and in-depth understanding of pavement design in the unusual but highly appropriate pit lane training facilities.

This partner content is brought to you by the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education. For more information, visit www.pavementeducation.edu.au.

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