Themes of the RPUG 2011 Conference include: Highway System Sustainability and Profiler QA
HIGHWAY SYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY: It’s all about Function!
Regardless of how we design and build it, what we build it with, and how we maintain it, the extent to which transportation infrastructure really performs has everything to do with how it interacts with its users. While it is possible to dissect this interaction into more fundamental elements, it can be generally described through properties that affect economy, comfort, safety, environmental impact, and the preservation of the overall structure. The following lists those general characteristics, as well as some of their more basic elements:
- Economy – rolling resistance/fuel consumption, vehicle/cargo damage.
- Safety and Comfort – ride quality, skid resistance, hydroplaning potential, splash and spray, marker and wet-night visibility
- Environmental impact – tire/pavement noise, rolling resistance/fuel consumption
- Structural preservation – load distribution, dynamic loading impact, penetration of air and water
Poor design, construction and preservation practices certainly run counter to the concept of sustainability, but the waste (in materials, labor, fuel, etc.) generally comes periodically and is experienced primarily by the owner/agency. Functional shortcomings (poor ride, unsafe friction, high noise and roll resistance), however, add cost to everyday and every user. Costs associated with the absence of optimized function and operation therefore quickly dwarf all others. So, sustainability is really all about the function.
The 2011 RPUG Meeting will feature presentations and panels sessions devoted to the goal of sustainability in terms of basic function. In addition to the many traditional topics, this year’s meeting will focus discussions on the basic functions and their effects on fuel consumption and cargo damage, tire-pavement noise production, and safety-oriented topics.
PROFILER QA: It’s all about Assurance!
State agencies have long issues dealing with profiler quality assurance (QA). When profile data collected using contractors’ or consultants’ machines, state agency would like to make sure the profile measurements are both repeatable and accurate before using them for project acceptance and incentive/disincentive payments. With shrinking State budget and resources nowadays, the QA process is even more challenging.
The 2011 RPUG Meeting will feature presentations and panels sessions devoted to the goal of Profiler Assurance. Representatives from State agencies and contractors are welcome to share their success stories and lessons learned!