Road network management is not limited to the more technical aspects of the contruction, maintenance and repair of a given number of roads. Other considerations involved in the management of a road network include the available annual budget, the share-out between road maintenance and (re)construction, the safety and comfort of road users, mobility, noise annoyance, environmental preservation, aesthetic aspects, sociological impact, etc.
Road geotechnics has considerably extended its scope of activity over the past few years. This is due to the cosideration given to environmental preservation and sustainable development, and to the ensuing legal obligation to be careful in general with the available natural resources left and to optimize soil use in road earthworks.
Making valuable use of local – including marginal – materials excavated during earthworks is currently a major concern (see PIARC report 1201R37 on “Innovative approaches towards the use of locally available natural marginal materials”).
The development of new applications and the constantly increasing demands on roads create a permanent need for innovative and improved types of asphalt that ensure higher performance and durability. Mix design with the PradoWin software package (see Components and mix design) and the set of performance tests on asphalt mixtures (see The development of tests for bitumens and asphalt mixtures) for which BRRC has equipped itself make it possible to develop new and optimize existing types. This is often followed by the construction and monitoring of test sections in cooperation with road authorities, which may result in recommendations and specifications.