The use of road surface characteristics to predict consequences for winter road maintenance

This paper consists of three parts that investigate how to use road surface characteristics in winter road management. The first part is a review of an investigation about summer and winter road unevenness. The two other parts are technical discussions how to use some specific road surface characteristics from experiences derived from summer road surface conditions.

In Sweden the condition of the paved roads are measured regularly. The measurements are carried out in the summer. An investigation has been done showing that the condition varies between different seasons. This leads to the question: Do we measure the road condition at the right time? Can we predict the change in road condition from one season to another?

This investigation was done using longitudinal road profiles and analysis of IRI (International Roughness Index). Unevenness within wavelengths of 3 to 10 meter was found to be most affected by seasonal changes. To demonstrate the use of road surface characteristics for safety related purposes a 3D model was created. The model was then used to detect ponds that were large enough to be risk areas for aquaplaning.

Another investigation was done to find out the relation between rut depth and snow removal. Another use of road surface characteristics could be to locate areas that are prone to become slippery. To do this the actual summer road smoothness expressed as macro texture is suggested to be used as indicator. The rougher and more stone rich the pavement is the more the risk of binding snow and creating icy condition increases.

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