Observations of functional conflicts between the environment and operation and maintenance of roads

The aim of this project was to increase the knowledge of functional conflicts between the environment and the operation and maintenance of roads. Functional conflicts may arise for example, when operation and maintenance measures are interfering negatively with land owners’ use of their land.

The goal of this project was to find new, relatively unknown examples of functional conflicts through observations in the field as well as by using recorded comments and opinions received by the Swedish Transport Administration.

Following functional conflicts were identified in the field:
• Reuse of old materials may negatively affect the life-time of roads.
• Brush cutting in the roadside may enhance erosion in vulnerable areas.
• Forest clear-cutting with easily eroded soil may cause clogging of ditches and culverts.
• Culverts that end in the middle of the forest may cause the forest land to become waterlogged.

To identify more functional conflicts, opinions and comments received by the Swedish Transport Administration in three regions (central region, western region and Stockholm region) were studied.

Several functional conflicts between the operation and maintenance of the road and the surrounding environment seem to recur in the three different regions such as various
functional effects from mowing, clearing, snow removal and gravel road maintenance. There were many examples of when different types of protected objects (monuments or heritage listed items) were damaged by the operation and maintenance procedures.

It should be a prioritized issue to minimize functional conflicts since there might be serious negative effects on the environment, costs and society.


  • Environment
  • ,
  • Infrastructure maintenance
  • ,
  • Maintenance
  • ,
  • Impact study (environment)
  • ,
  • Roadside
  • ,
  • Vegetation
  • ,
  • Ditch
  • ,
  • Drainage
Cover of VTI publication.
Download PDF for free
  • Research area: Environment, Infrastructure maintenance
  • Published: 2012-03-23
  • VTI-code: N3-2012

(VTI notat N3-2012 (30 pages, written in Swedish with an English summary)

Price printed version:

100 SEK

Buy press version