There are no effective or ineffective companies; there are just companies that are better or worse managed.
1.1. The Research Problem and Objectives
At the beginning of 2011 the total length of public roads in Poland was 406,100 km, out of which 18,600 km were national roads.
The length of roads of the highest standard, that is motorways, was 857 km, expressways made up another 675 km. Over 1,400 km of public national roads had been under construction. At the present stage of the road network development in Poland the most attention is put to the value of investment outlays, effectiveness of using EU assistance funds and the quality of construction works on motorways and expressways. Moreover, the major problems of road engineering in Poland include a backlog of maintenance works on the existing national road network – both in the field of routine and structural maintenance. One must also bear in mind that as new road sections are constructed, the maintenance needs will rise in the years to come.
Road maintenance includes its current maintenance, defined in international literature as routine maintenance, as well as road
repavement and reconstruction referred to as structural maintenance.
Road routine maintenance includes repairs and cleaning that prevent deterioration of the road surface, road elements, engineering
structures, the right-of-way facilities, as well as activities to preserve aesthetic qualities of the road; actions connected with winter road maintenance (snow removal and anti-skid measures in winter); repair works to ensure traffic safety and comfort.
Road structural maintenance (repavement or more comprehensive renewals) has the objective of restoring (reinstating) the original condition of the road (also with the use of building materials different from the ones used in the original construction technology), whereas road upgrading or modernisation (also reinforcement) consists of works increasing the technical and operational parameters of the existing road without a need to change the right-of-way boundaries.
Over the recent years we could observe an improvement in the condition of national roads and the safety of road traffic Research Problem
due to increased spending on road renewal and upgrading works. Nevertheless, at the end of 2010, 22% of roads were
in an unsatisfactory condition and another 19% of roads were in a poor condition, which means that they required prompt repavement works.
The condition of roads and the riding comfort result from efficiency of operations undertaken by the road authority. An objective
assessment of activities by the road authority is not possible without a set of adequate indicators. The experience of European countries, as well as of the USA, Japan, Australia, who in mid-90s of the previous century commenced works on creating a system of Road Maintenance Effectiveness Indicators, shows that the process is long-lasting, and requires verification and adjustments of the standards adopted in the international practice to the domestic conditions.
Considering the above premises, three main objectives were set for the present research project:
• To analyse the system of national road maintenance management already applied in Poland and in several selected countries,
• To define the key effectiveness indicators for such a process,
• To indicate the best practices used by foreign national roads authorities, which would contribute to increasing the management effectiveness of national road maintenance in Poland.
1.2. Stages of the Research
To accomplish the objectives set for the project, the research was conducted in four stages:
Stage 1. Survey and selection of Road Maintenance Effectiveness Indicators for the purposes of the research.
Stage 2. Collection of data on the parameters of the national road network, its maintenance management system, expenditure on maintenance works and other data and information essential for the analysis of the road network maintenance management, and preparing the data for a deeper analysis.
Stage 3. Analysing the effectiveness of national road maintenance management in Poland and in selected European countries.
The first part of the analysis identifies the models, standards and practices used in the process of road maintenance management in the divisions of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA). The progress
made in maintenance management in 2010-2011, when the research was carried out is assessed. Further, upon the collected data some selected Road Maintenance Effectiveness Indicators are calculated for national roads in Poland. Unfortunately as the data collected at that time had not been very comprehensive, it was not possible to calculate all indicators defined in the precedent part of the report.
The second part of the analysis is devoted to the basic qualities of road networks, the system of financing and management in countries selected for the analysis: Austria, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. One of the main selection criteria was similarities with the Polish administrative division of roads. Further analysis considers the practices in management of national road maintenance in countries indicated by the recognized international organisations (e.g. OECD/ITF – International Transport Forum) as leaders in the best maintenance practices in road engineering and management. The analysis coveres additionally the USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The purpose of the analysis was, above all, to identify the general trends that serve raising the effectiveness of maintenance not only from the point of view of road authorities, but also from the perspective of road users.
Stage 4. Indicating the best practices on the international scale and formulating recommendations for Poland.