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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. Hence the long-standing concern for investigating the total costs incurred over the long life of a road or road network, which is commonly referred to as life cycle costing.
Other tools make it possible to analyse whether investments made have yielded the desired returns at the macroeconomic level. One example is the HDM software developed at the initiative of the World Bank, which is used mainly by developing countries and countries with loans.
New forms of contract such as public-private partnership stimulate innovations in road construction and lead to a different, beter management of road assets.