Asset Management Newsletter No. 3 of 5

Exciting EPAM conference

Intelligent implementation

EXPECT new approaches

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EPAM - meeting up in Malmö

As annonced in the last newsletter, the Asset Management programme will be very active at the European Pavement and Asset Management conference, EPAM,  in Malmö, Sweden, 5-7 September 2012, at hotel Hilton Malmö city.

The AM programme will be represented by 4 out of 7 projects, there will be a workshop session and the AM programme will be presented in one of the key note speaches.

On Wednesday, EVITA, ASCAM, HEROAD and PROCROSS will be presenting and the HEROAD workshop will be executed. Further more, the PROCROSS will have a Technical Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday.

At the HEROAD workshop on Wednesday 5th September 2012 from 4-5.30 pm., the participants will discuss the results to date from the project and collect feedback on these results. The session will be moderated and concluded by UK consultant Chris Britton  and will include an introduction to the project by Project Coordinator, Leif Sjögren of VTI and a short overview and discussion on each of the following key project areas:

  • Understanding pavement performance (by Emma Benbow of TRL)
  • Understanding structure performance (by Ales Znidaric of ZAG) 
  • Understanding environment performance (by Manfred Haider of AIT)
  • Understanding pavement equipment (by Christophe Casse of BRRC)
  • Overview road performance (by Leif Sjögren) 
Naturally, we encourage everybody with an interest in the AM programme to consider attending the EPAM conference.

Implementation workshop

From the onset of the Asset Management programme, the partners have been dedicated to the implementation of the findings of the seven involved projects. A task that may not be easy, since implementation requires a lot of common aspects to gel - from legislation to methods and even politics.
The Programme Executive Board (PEB) has been very aware of this challenge and of ensuring synergies and public awareness of the programme. This was the background for having an implementation workshop in Trondheim, Norway, on the 20th June 2012.

Attended by the PEB-members as well as the project coordinators, the workshop was an important step towards aligning the dissemination of the seven involved projects as well as pinpointing the opportunities for each project to get their specific results known and used in the European road sector.

Opening the workshop, the Danish Programme Executive Chairman, Mr. Bjarne Schmidt, stressed that implementation is very important to society and stakeholders and that it is a common responsability of the programme participants to bring forward the results of the programme. 
Technical Adviser, Mr Chris Britton, suggested applying a "practitioners' point of view" to the task in order to succesfully get results into practise and he presented a common overview of project synergies and interdependencies. This shows for instance the best practice approach (inventories), as well as measurements methods.

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Based on this model, the workshop participants discussed the implementation barriers, ideas and synergies for each project. Mr Mikkel Bruun, Communication Adviser, laid out which main messages comply to which target groups and activities, and stressed, that everybody has to be active in disseminating the programme.

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Finally, strategic opportunities for presenting the AM results were discussed. The major road and transport conferences (TRB, TRA, etc.) are of course relevant, but much emphasis was put on the European Pavement Asset Management conference (EPAM), as well as a final event of the programme, which can hopefully attract decision makers and practitioners alike.


EXPECT - a new approach to stakeholders

The EXPECT project is one of the seven projects of the AM programme, belonging to the objective about determining the requirements and expectations of stakeholders. The project is managed by the UK Highways Agency in cooperation with five European partners.

The Project Coordinator (PC) is Dr. Vijay Ramdas, TRL Limited, United Kingdom. The Project Manager (PM) is Mr. Ramesh Sinhal, Highways Agency, United Kingdom and the project partners are the Austrian Institute of Technology, the Belgian Road Research Centre, The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.

Vijay Ramdas, TRL   Ramesh Sinhal, HA

The objective of the EXPECT project is to develop a methodology for incorporating stakeholder opinions into the highway asset management process. This may be used by NRAs to ensure they meet stakeholder expectations and requirements.

A review of current practice in asset management and discussion with fourteen National Road Authorities (NRAs) in Europe identified NRA requirements and gaps in the existing processes involving stakeholders.

This uncovered that although there were processes in place to deal with some of the stakeholders (eg. funders or suppliers) there was an awareness of a gap in understanding and meeting road user (including neighbours) expectations, and the lack of a methodology to incorporate user requirements in developing asset management strategies/plans.

Focus groups (carried out in Austria, Sweden and the UK) with a number of road user types allowed a better understanding of the requirements of this stakeholder group at a high level and highlighted that the key aspects of concern to them were safety and ride comfort.

Condition issues of concern to users are predominantly related to the road pavement, the condition of other assets such as bridges or earthworks being 'invisible' to the road user. In general, as  long as the assets are present (and are perceived to be 'fit for purpose'), users appear to give limited consideration to these assets in terms of condition, except under special circumstances (e.g. tunnels in Austria). Aspects of the infrastructure that do impact on perceived safety/comfort include signs, road markings, rest areas.

Another aspect of importance to users is communication as they feel that there are limited channels of effective communication between NRA's and road users. One consequence of this is that users often had little understanding of the reasons for changes being made to the assets and how they might benefit them as a road user.

Accompanied journeys (carried out in Sweden and the UK) with individual road users allowed more detailed information on the levels of acceptable condition to be gathered. Within the scope of the EXPECT project only a small number of condition parameters in two countries were investigated, but the outcome has suggested that the methodology comprising of a combination of Focus Groups and accompanied journeys provides an effective methodology to improve understanding of user requirements.

The findings from the data collection methods have been used to develop a spreadsheet tool based on Multi-Criteria Analysis to determine the prioritisation of stakeholder requirements (e.g. user types, asset types, functional criteria, modes of transport. etc). This will feed into a methodology to enable the results to be incorporated into an asset management framework.


Assetcall - a guided tour

The website of the AM programme contains a lot of valuable information about our research work in the field of asset management.

This is a guided tour of the site. If you click on either of the images, you will be directed to the given part of the web site. Or just use the link at the end of this article.

After entering the site, we would suggest you moving to the sections "news and and more info", where you will find the latest developements as well as links to previous newsletters and press releases.

A click on "activities" will provide you with an overview of all the out-reaching efforts of the programme, including deadlines and events.

The section "seven projects" will take you through each of the projects, including power point presentations and project plans.

Finally, there is the section "internal information", meant only to be available for the PEB, which includes sensitive information. However, if you are among the key stakeholders (one of the 14 programme partners), you can gain access by contacting either Mr Mikkel Bruun at or Ms. Mette Holm Duelund at

We invite you to visit our site and contact us with any questions. All finished research will eventually be published here for common use and wihout any claims to intellectual property rights.

The Asset Management Programme is sponsored by 14 CEDR organisations.

Contacts, AM programme:
Ms. Mette Holm Duelund: 
Mr. Bjarne Schmidt:
Mr. Mikkel Bruun: 
Mr. Chris Britton:

Layout and text: BRUUN Communication
Photos: EPAM,  Mikkel Bruun
Logo: Tore van Kooten, DRD


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