Abstract for: Application of System Dynamics to Unsealed Road Maintenance Management

ABSTRACT: Most pavement maintenance management systems tend to be either non-analytical databases or statistical correlation models. However, pavement maintenance is part of a complex system comprising the road pavement, the environment, diverse users, the maintenance authority and Local/State/Federal Governments. This system has significant feedbacks, making it a suitable field for system dynamics enquiry. This paper discusses a system dynamics based pavement management model that was prototyped originally by engineering students at the Australian Defence Force Academy (Hyde 1996, Jackson 1997) and refined on contract with the Australian Government. The current model was rebuilt in Powersim Studio and refined in collaboration with a Victorian rural Shire Council. The model analyses the pavement deterioration over time of 530 individual segments of unsealed rural road, prioritising rehabilitation treatments based on user preferences and budget constraints and identifies the consequences of different budgetary approaches. Feedback to the decision makers includes the number of households served by very rough roads, the number of user complaints and roughness related accident costs and vehicle operating costs. Keywords: Pavement maintenance management; pavement life cycle costing; unsealed road maintenance; transport economics; economic evaluation; system dynamics.