HiSPEQ aims to deliver improvements to the process of describing high-speed survey equipment, specifying the requirement for surveys/survey equipment and the regimes that should be applied to ensure the quality of data delivered. HiSPEQ will also improve the ability to obtain good value from the measured data by making use of the best derived parameters to assess condition within asset management systems.

HiSPEQ - project structure

HiSPEQ – project structure

Road owners and operators must draw on a range of tools to deliver well maintained road networks which deliver an acceptable level of service to their many stakeholders. These tools provide the operator with facilities to understand the condition of their network, plan and undertake maintenance, and design upgrades and enhancements to the network. Often implemented within pavement and asset management software systems, at the heart of these tools is the data and information upon which all of the decisions are based. It is important that this information is provided to a sufficient (known and required) level of accuracy and consistency and at a level of detail to enable robust application to maintenance decisions. However, collecting such information is not straightforward and can be expensive. There has been a particular expansion in the use of high-speed technologies for the collection of pavement visual condition and shape data.

Structural condition is also measured but the fact that surveys of this are less common is primarily because the technologies to collect deflection data at high speed are less mature than those for the measurement of surface condition. Therefore, in the absence of suitable alternative equipment for high-speed structural assessment the data from high-speed surface surveys is sometimes applied as a proxy for the structural robustness of the pavement. However, in recent years a practical routine high-speed tool has emerged for the measurement of structural condition. The Traffic Speed Deflectometer (TSD) is now being taken up in a number of countries. These measurements of deflection to assess structural condition are often backed up by measurements of pavement structure (i.e. pavement layer materials and material thickness) to support data analysis that now be undertaken using Ground Penetrating Radar, again a technique which can now be employed at high-speed.

These high speed systems bring the advantage of network wide data collection without interfering with the traffic flow. They can provide coverage of the network which would be impractical for traditional surveys to achieve. They have lower survey costs per km than slow speed surveys and bring data that does not suffer from the subjectivity or inaccuracy of manual surveys. The data is provided in a very structured manner (for example condition parameters reported every 10m accurately located relative to section, distance and geographical position) and can be easily fed into pavement or asset management systems. It is clear that high speed surveys bring significant practical advantages to condition assessment, to support robust asset management. However, although it may appear that we have reached a situation, with robust high accuracy survey regimes reliably providing the key data that is required by stakeholders to assess and manage their networks, this is not entirely the case.

The Problem When defining a requirement for a survey a road owner is likely to consider two options – what data/information do I require and/or what equipment should be used to obtain this information? Unfortunately there is limited standardisation for many of the measurements and the standardisation that does exist (e.g. for profile) is limited in its practicality and is too complex for road administrations to understand without technical support. Hence there is little information available to road Authorities to easily and confidently define the requirements for their surveys (on the basis of equipment).

The Objective of this Project There is a clear need to deliver improvements to the process of describing equipment, specifying requirement for surveys using the equipment and the regimes that should be applied to ensure the quality of data delivered. There is also a need to improve our ability to obtain good value from the measured data by making use of the best derived parameters to assess condition within asset management systems. HI-SPEQ will draw on direct stakeholder consultation, current best practise and the extensive experience of our team in developing and delivering high-speed surveys, survey equipment and survey specifications to:

  • Establish the state of the art in high speed data collection in the areas of surface and structural assessment.
  • Establish the link between stakeholder need for information and the technical capability of measurement equipment, in order to break down the barriers that make it difficult for road Authority stakeholders to fully understand the equipment that is available and used on their networks.
  • Clarify the relationship between stakeholder need for information and the best methods to collect this information, in terms of survey specifications and requirements, to enable Authorities to more confidently specify their needs.
  • Clarify the issues of quality and consistency in survey measurements and demonstrate how these can be overcome through suitable quality processes.
  • Clarify the process of data collection, data processing and delivery of condition parameters.

A particular focus of HI-SPEQ will be to deliver outcomes that can be implemented by Authorities. Whilst our outputs will demonstrate how we have come to our conclusions and how we have developed the advice we intend to provide, our key focus will be on delivering outputs in the form of guidance, advice and templates that can be used by road Authorities. Therefore our intention is to deliver usable outputs that can be taken forward by Authorities to help them in establishing robust, high quality survey regimes that deliver good value for money. HI-SPEQ will provide Authorities with:

  • Clear guidance on the type of data that can be collected on their networks to measure surface and structural condition at high speed.
  • Clear guidance on the types of equipment available to collect this data and the ability to describe the equipment within a common template.
  • An understanding of how to commission surveys using this equipment and the ability to develop specifications based on a best practise template.
  • An understanding of the benefits of ensuring quality in surveys and the ability to develop quality assurance specifications based on a best practise template.
  • Recommendations on how to process survey data into meaningful condition parameters that can be input to asset management systems, including the relationship between, and combination of, high speed surface and high-speed structural measurements in assessing the structural condition of pavements.
  • Practical examples of best practise experience in high speed network surveys.