Different Concepts

Distinctions should be made between the four different concepts (see Table 3.13). The first two are the only ones that can be defined as maintenance in the strict sense of the term:

• Continuous maintenance. This is designed to ensure the road's continuing practicability and user safety. It requires constant monitoring, cleaning, the repair of damage as and when it occurs under the supervision of the surveyor (put in charge of road maintenance by the local authority or the cooperative). Maintenance must

Table 3 • 13 • Outline of maintenance and repair work

Table 3 • 13 • Outline of maintenance and repair work



Periodic Maintenance



• Forestry and agricultural activity

• Weather: rain, snow

• Traffic, very heavy

• Natural events


• Pollution

• Wear and tear

• Destruction of road body

• Landslides

• Local damage

• Erosion of surfacing course

• Major deformations

• Destruction by landslips,


• Drainage works

avalanches, etc.

isolated cracks)

• Engineering works


• Inspection

• Renovation of surfacing course

• Reinforcement of

• Repair

• Cleaning

• Rebuilding of profile

bearing course

• Repairs

(dirt roads)

• Laying of pavement


• Conservation:

• Improvement:

• Repair:

• Repair:





traffic safety

traffic safety • Conservation of material

traffic safety

traffic safety

Extent of work

• Localized

• Large surfaces

• Entire road surface

• Damaged areas

• Small surfaces

• Usually entire vehicle track

Execution of work

• Road maintenance crew

• Responsible persons

• Construction company

• Forestry service or local-authority maintenance crew

• Construction company

• Construction company

Time of execution

• Whenever required, at least

• On a periodic basis, every

• At the end of the calculated

• After the event

once a year

6—12 years

life cycle, e.g., 40 years


• Owners

• Owners

• Owners + subsidies

• Owners + subsidies

be carried out before the onset of winter, after the last snows have melted, after storms, or after heavy use (harvesting or transport of timber), and in any case at least once a year. The damage that occurs in such conditions will not have been caused by any insufficient bearing capacity of the road. The structural integrity of the road and its various courses will not be in any danger.

• Periodic maintenance. This has the additional aim of upholding the substance and value of the construction as a whole, and improving the road's practicability, that is, increasing the practicability p value. Restoration of the surface profile, resurfacing or retouching of the surface course (wear course, pavement), drainage installations, and engineering work have to be done in a cycle of 8 to 12 years. As a result of wear and aging of the construction materials, the surface course may no longer be in a fit state to fulfill its purpose, putting the bearing bed at risk. In this case, a new surface course will have to be laid, to restore protection of the bearing bed. The need for periodic maintenance, that is, for refurbishing of the surface course, applies to the entire road surface. The length of the maintenance cycle will depend on several factors: the wear resistance, the nature and thickness of the surface course, and the intensity of traffic- and climate-related stress and strain. In most cases, these works are beyond the means of the surveyor in charge and will have to be taken on by small companies or road maintenance groups. It is up to the surveyor, however, to decide on what measures are needed, and when. Once the construction has lost its suitability for traffic, falling below the minimum requirements of practicability, its condition must be restored by means of reinforcement work designed specifically to bring the road back to the required standard for traffic use. This work of restoration and reinforcement, as well as the repair of basic damage, is usually beyond the financial means of the road owners. The appropriate public authorities therefore should be able and willing to provide any additional funds necessary.

• Repairs. This term covers all unforeseeable, exceptional damage caused by major storms, avalanches, landslides, or other events that cannot be met from the normal maintenance budget. The work often has to be organized in projects, and execution might be placed in the hands of a private-sector company, or a state-controlled consortium, often with the involvement of civil protection or military units.

• Improvements. This concept covers adaptation of the road to new and generally more demanding requirements. It calls for wide-ranging project planning and engineering, often requiring a full review of the existing construction.

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