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Accumulated Depreciation

The part of the recognized replacement cost of a non-current asset which has been treated as an expense in successive profit and loss accounts. A measure of the loss of service potential of an asset since the asset was acquired or constructed.

ACS (ARAN Collection System)

This is a broad set of software which enables the accurate collection of data from the ARAN.

Aggregate Material

Gravel or crushed rock graded so as to be mechanically stable, workable and able to be compacted.

Aquaplaning / Hydroplaning

A condition occurring on a wet road when a vehicle tire loses contact with the surface and rides on a film of water.

ARAN (Automatic Road Analyzer)

The ARAN is the cornerstone of the Fugro Roadware product line. It is capable of measuring up to 15 different data items in a single pass at traffic speeds. The ARAN can be outfitted with various modular surveying subsystems and software and comes in three version; ARAN 9000, ARAN 8000 and ARAN 7000

Arterial Road

A road that predominantly carries traffic from one region to another, forming a principal avenue of communication for traffic movements.


A physical component of a road system or network. An asset is considered worthy of separate identification if it delivers services or benefits to the community of sufficient current or future value to warrant control and management on an individual basis. Typical assets include sections of road, sections of pavement, individual bridges, culverts, sets of traffic signals, signs, road furniture, road reserves, etc.

Asset Management / Strategy

A systematic process of effectively maintaining, upgrading and operating assets, combining engineering principles with sound business practice and economic rationale, and providing the tools to facilitate a more organized and flexible approach to making decisions necessary to achieve the public’s expectations.

Asset Register / Asset Inventory

A list of assets considered worthy of identification as discrete assets, with information such as location, design standard, construction date, maintenance history, configuration, condition, and technical details about each.

Auxiliary Lane

A portion of the carriageway adjoining through traffic lanes, used for speed change or other purpose supplementary to through traffic movement.


The process of measuring performance and analyzing practices in key areas and comparing them to other similar operations or functions, to find ways of achieving better results.

Benefit Cost Analysis

A structured technique for assessing the economic efficiency of resource allocation, by quantifying in money terms the costs and benefits of a range of alternative proposals, comparing them against a base case, and deriving decision criteria such as benefit cost ratio (BCR), net present value (NPV), first year rate of return (FYRR), internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value per dollar of investment (NPVI). (Full details are in the 1996 Austroads Benefit Cost Manual (AP-42/96)).

Benefit-Cost Ratio

A term used in economic analysis for the ratio of discounted benefits of an investment (BCR) proposal (e.g. a project) to the change in discounted capital and maintenance costs compared to a base case, with benefits and costs both summed over an appropriate analysis period.

Bleeding (also see Flushing)

A surface defect characterized by an excess of binder covering the aggregate on the pavement surface, either eliminating or significantly reducing surface texture. Bleeding is typically caused by heavy loads and an excess of binder in an asphalt concrete mixture.

Bridge Management System

A method of information collection, analysis and decision-making, designed to permit the optimization of resources for the maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction of bridges.


The process of bringing to account all expenditures of a capital nature in the determination of asset values.


That portion of a road or bridge devoted particularly to the use of vehicles, including shoulders and auxiliary lanes (i.e. between guide posts, curbs or safety barriers where these are provided). It is often characterized by the width of a constructed embankment or roadbed.

Collector Road

A non-arterial road which collects and distributes traffic in an area, as well as serving abutting property.

Condition Based Depreciation

A method of determining depreciation of an asset, based on an assessment of the physical condition of the asset.

Condition Index

An indicator of asset condition, formed by a mathematical combination of a number of condition parameters, using weightings to reflect the relative contribution of each condition parameter to decisions about intervention and treatment.

Condition Monitoring (also see Condition Survey)

Continuous or periodic inspection, assessment, measurement, reporting and interpretation of resulting data to indicate the condition of a specific asset. The asset condition can be used for valuation purposes and to determine the need, nature, and timing of maintenance.

Condition Parameter

A quantifiable expression of a specific defect in an asset (e.g., Roughness, Surface texture, Skid Resistance, Edge Break, Deflection, etc. are pavement condition parameters). Reporting can be either by bins or distress levels (e.g., good, fair, poor, bad, etc.), or on a continuous numerical scale (IRI, Rut Depth, Crack Width, % area patched, etc.).


Physical attributes of an asset that define its capacity and capabilities. For road assets, configuration may be defined by parameters such as the number of carriageways and lanes, surface width, structure type, etc.

Construction (also see Reconstruction)

Creation of a new infrastructure asset which is a significant addition to the asset stock - the new asset may replace an existing asset which remains in service, possibly with a changed function. Examples include an additional carriageway, a deviation such as a town bypass, a new road link, etc. The cost of asset construction is a capital cost.


Transverse undulations, closely and regularly spaced, with wave lengths less than 2m.


A pavement defect signified by vertical splitting of the pavement due to the action of traffic or environmental loading or material characteristics, usually identified as visible discontinuities at the surface, not necessarily extending through the entire thickness of a layer or pavement.


An undesirable condition in the asset affecting serviceability, structural capacity or appearance.

Deferred Maintenance

Maintenance activity which, in accordance with stated strategy and/or agreed maintenance intervention levels, should be carried out in the current year, but is not funded or performed.


The vertical movement deflection at the surface of a pavement due to the application of a load.

Demand Management

The active intervention in the market to influence the demand for services and the assets generated and/or used in the supply of these services in order to best match available resources to real needs and to ensure the services provided are delivered with the best value for money.


An amount representing the reduction of the service potential of an asset during an accounting period.

Deterioration Rate

The rate of change in asset condition over a set time period such as a year. Note that the rate typically varies over time and therefore may also be referred to as the “Deterioration Curve”.

Discount Rate

The rate used in economic analysis to convert current dollar values of costs which occur in a future year to a present value in the base year.


An accumulation of defects.

Distress Level

A form of reporting for distress condition, using category terms such as good, fair, moderate, low, bad, etc. (sometimes referred to as ‘bins’), as distinct from a continuous numerical scale.

DOT - Department of Transportation

A government agency responsible for the transportation needs within its borders. DOT's, such as the United States Department of Transportation, are often responsible for multiple modes of transportation such as aviation, marine, rail, and road.

Economic Analysis

A methodology for assessing the value of an asset similar to benefit cost analysis.

Edge Break

A pavement surface defect in which the edge of the pavement surface is fretted, broken or irregular.

Edge Drop-Off

A pavement defect in which the vertical distance from the surface at the edge of the paved surface to the surface of the shoulder exceeds the acceptable amount (usually 10 to 15 mm).

Evenness (also see Roughness)

A term used, primarily in Europe, with a similar meaning to roughness as defined in this Glossary.

Fatigue Cracking

Cracking which occurs in a pavement course because the number of repetitions of tensile strain exceeds the capacity of the course. Surface cracking caused by propagation of fatigue cracking in a buried pavement layer is also referred to as Fatigue Cracking.

FHWA – Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation.

FYRR - First Year Rate of Return

The total discounted benefits from the first full year of operation of a project, divided by discounted capital costs, expressed as a percentage

Flexible Pavement

A pavement which obtains its load spreading properties mainly by intergranular pressure, mechanical interlock and cohesion between the particles of the pavement material. In the case of an asphalt pavement, this further depends on the adhesion between the bitumen binder and the aggregate, and the cohesion of that binder. Generally, any pavement in which high strength Portland cement concrete is not used as a construction layer.

Flushing (also see bleeding)

A pavement surface defect in which the binder is near the uppermost surfaces of the aggregate particles. The uppermost surfaces of the aggregate particles are still visible, but there is minimal surface texture.

Free Speed

For a particular vehicle type and road condition, the average speed that a vehicle would travel at when traffic volumes are low.


A divided highway for through traffic with no access for traffic between interchanges and with grade separation at all intersections.


The tangible evidence of a community’s cultural origins and its progress. Those aspects of the surrounding environment which communities value and wish to keep and preserve. Heritage items may include landscapes, places, works, buildings or relics. Governments maintain registers of identified heritage items.

Heritage Assets

Those assets which are intended to be preserved in trust for future generations because of their cultural, environmental or historical associations.

HPMS - Highway Performance Monitoring System

The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is a national level highway information system that includes data on the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of US highways. This data is required to help federal officials plan and allocate resources to States, Counties and Municipalities.

Incremental Benefit Cost Ratio (IBCR)

A term used in economic analysis for the ratio of the present value of incremental benefit to the present value of incremental cost.

Inertial Profiler / Profiler

A vehicle-based road profile measuring system that includes an accelerometer to provide the reference datum, a height sensor for datum-to-ground measurement, a longitudinal distance sensor, a computer, and various electronics to power the sensors and connect them to the computer. Early inertial profilometers (e.g., the original General Motors Research (GMR) type) sensed height above the road surface using a follower wheel instrumented with a potentiometer. This required testing at low speeds to avoid bouncing, was subject to mechanical wear, and has been replaced with a non-contact laser-based sensor in the modern inertial profilometers. (Also see ‘profilometer’)

Intelligent Transport System

Sophisticated multi-modal ‘tools’, which integrate advanced technologies and apply them to transport to develop solutions that will improve the quality of life. The integrated application of advanced technologies, such as computing and communication technologies, to improve the transport system by making it more efficient, safer and sustainable in terms of technology, society and the environment. Electronics, communications, or information processing used singly or in combination to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system.

IRI - International Roughness Index

International Roughness Index, a measure of roughness developed in the 1980s by the World Bank and adopted by the World Road Association (PIARC). IRI is a numerical representation of a road profile, designed to replicate the traditional roughness measures obtained from response-type road roughness measuring systems. IRI represents the vertical response to the measured longitudinal road profile of a hypothetical quarter-car (as replicated by a mathematical model) travelling at 80 km/h.

Level of Service

A generic term used to describe the quality of services provided by the asset under consideration. Road agencies usually define Levels of Service in terms of the convenience of travel and safety performance of the road network. Depending upon various factors such as demand or importance, a higher Level of Service may be required for some assets compared to others. In road asset management, the term “service level” means the same as “level of service”. In traffic engineering, the term “Level of Service” is used as a qualitative measure, with 6 levels designated A to E, describing operational conditions within a traffic stream, and their perception by motorists and/or passengers.

Life Cycle Cost

The sum of acquisition cost and ownership cost of an asset over its entire life. Acquisition cost includes planning, investigation, design and construction costs. Ownership cost includes maintenance, rehabilitation, operating expenses, and disposal/salvage costs.

Local Road

A road or street used primarily for access to abutting properties.

Location System

A tool enabling asset data to be accurately identified with respect to the physical asset over a long period of time. Location systems generally comprise permanent land marks, reference points, and a database.

Longitudinal Profile Macrotexture (also see Megatexture, Microtexture, Roughness, Texture Depth and Surface Texture)

Pavement surface irregularities with wave lengths between 0.5mm and 50mm, related to the size, spacing and arrangement of the aggregate particles at the surface. Macrotexture relates to potential channels for water to drain off the surface of a pavement.

LRMS – Laser Rut Measurement System

Fugro Roadware offers a system jointly developed with Pavemetrics called the Laser Rut Measurement System (LRMS). When combined with ARAN technology and data collection software it is called the Laser XVP and measures up to 1,280 data points across a pavement lane and can operate day or night.

Maintenance (also see Pavement Maintenance)

All actions necessary for retaining an asset as near as practicable to its original configuration and condition, or reducing its deterioration. Any activity carried out on an asset to ensure that the asset continues to perform its intended function, or to repair the asset.

Maintenance Plan

A budgeting tool consisting of a list of costed activities scheduled over a period of 3 to 5 years and aimed at maintaining the asset within specified maintenance standards.

Maintenance Intervention Level / Maintenance Standard

The value of a condition parameter which triggers maintenance investigation or activity.

Megatexture (also see Macrotexture, Microtexture and Roughness)

Pavement surface irregularities with wave lengths between 50mm and 500mm, related to small defects in the surfacing, such as rutting, potholes, patching, faulting, concrete spalling, major joints and major cracks.

Microtexture (also see Macrotexture, Megatexture and Roughness)

Pavement surface irregularities with wave lengths less than 0.5mm, associated with asperities on the surface of individual pieces of aggregate which make up the road surface.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)

MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005.

NHS - National Highway System

The National Highway System (NHS) of the United States is approximately 256,000 kilometers and includes the Interstate Highway System.

Net Present Value

A term used in economic analysis for the difference between discounted benefits and discounted costs over the life of the project.

Network Level

A type of road condition survey or data analysis where the main purpose is to monitor network performance or assist with network wide asset management decisions, as distinct from project decisions.

Non-Current Asset

A non-current asset is an asset which has a useful life extending over more than one accounting period. (Road infrastructure is invariably a non-current asset.)

Operating Speed

For a particular vehicle type, the average speed that a vehicle would travel at, taking congestion and road conditions into account.


A process for selecting from alternative proposals with the aim of achieving the highest return from anticipated resource levels. Optimization includes consideration of life cycle costs (road agency costs and road user costs) and relevant non-economic criteria, at the project or network level. At the network level, optimization involves determining for a specified time frame, either achievable standards for road configuration and condition within a given budget, or the required level of funding to achieve specified standards.


The addition of one or more courses of pavement material to an existing road surface, generally to increase pavement strength and stiffness, or to improve riding quality.


Fugro’s Pave3D system creates a detailed 3D model of the road surface. This 3D technology allows for fully automated pavement condition assessment of both asphalt and concrete surfaces over 13 feet (4m) in width the day or night at speeds up to 62 mph (100 km/h). Click here for more information.


The engineered portion of the road placed above the subgrade to support traffic loads and to form a running surface. A pavement usually comprises sub base, base and wearing surface layers.

Pavement Construction

Action to provide a new pavement, or to increase either strength or capacity or both of an existing pavement, beyond the initial as-constructed values. Pavement construction includes rehabilitation if, after rehabilitation, the pavement is stronger or wider than the strength or width originally constructed. Pavement construction provides additional capacity or service potential, usually to carry increased axle loads (pavement strength) or traffic volumes (pavement or seal width), and sometimes to improve safety performance (e.g., widening for turning traffic, sealing shoulders).

Pavement Design

A process to select the most economic pavement thickness and composition which will provide a satisfactory level of service for the anticipated traffic and environmental loading.

Pavement Maintenance

Actions which are intended to preserve the pavement and are mainly directed to the surface, with no improvement in strength or capacity beyond that from original construction or design intention. Maintenance includes rehabilitation if, after rehabilitation, the pavement is no stronger or wider than when it was first constructed.

Pavement Management

A systematic method of information collection, analysis and decision-making, designed to permit the optimal use of resources for the maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction of pavements.

Pavement Management System (PMS)

A Pavement Management System (PMS) is a methodology that is able to predict pavement deterioration and then is able to come up with strategies as to when and how to repair the pavement.

Pavement Rehabilitation

Major surfacing action or pavement treatment for the purpose of improving the structural condition of the pavement, either to reach original as constructed or design condition (when the cost would be regarded as a recurring expense for maintenance work), or to exceed the original as constructed condition (when the cost would be regarded as a capital investment for construction work), so that it may be expected to function at a satisfactory level of service for a further period of time.

Pavement Strength

A measure of the ability of a pavement to resist deformation from traffic loading.

Periodic Maintenance (Pavement)

Surface type treatments conducted at fairly regular intervals of longer than one year. Chip seals and thin resurfacings are the most common forms of periodic maintenance for pavements.


A pavement surface defect in which the upper faces of the aggregate become smoother and rounder, particularly in the wheel tracks, as a result of the abrasive effect of traffic, reducing the available friction between the road surface and a vehicle tire.

Portland Cement

A hydraulic cement (cement that not only hardens by reacting with water but also forms a water-resistant product) produced by pulverizing clinkers consisting essentially of hydraulic calcium silicates, usually containing one or more of the forms of calcium sulfate as an inter ground addition.

Portland Cement Concrete

A stiff and rigid material composed of aggregate, sand and Portland Cement.

Present Value

A term used in economic analysis for the equivalent value in the base year of a benefit or cost to be incurred at some other point in time.

Preventive Maintenance

Maintenance activity before or at an early stage in the development of one or more defects, aimed at preventing occurrence or progression of the defect(s), usually undertaken on a proactive rather than reactive basis.


A method of putting proposals on a list indicating which are to be funded first.

Profile (Longitudinal or Transverse Profile)

A two-dimensional slice of the road surface, taken along an imaginary line. Longitudinal profile is the shape of a road surface measured in a vertical plane parallel to the traffic flow. Transverse profile is the shape of a road surface measured in a vertical plane at right angles to the traffic flow (i.e., along a cross section).


A device for producing a series of numbers related in a well-defined way to a reference profile. Roughness measuring devices, other than mechanical response-type devices and most static devices, are commonly referred to as profilers. (Also see ‘inertial profiler’)

Project Level

A type of road condition survey or data analysis where the main purpose is to assist with decisions about proposals for a specific project on a short length of road, as distinct from network decisions.


The ejection by traffic action, or ground water pressure, of water and fine particles in suspension through joints or cracks in a pavement.


A pavement surface defect involving progressive disintegration of the pavement surface through loss of both binder and aggregates.


Construction of a new asset which replaces or upgrades an existing asset generally in the same location and at essentially the same alignment as the asset being replaced – the existing asset will no longer be in service. Examples include formation or bridge widening, pavement or bridge strengthening, and local improvements such as at curves and intersections. The cost of reconstruction is a capital cost. (Also see ‘construction’ and ‘rehabilitation’)

Reflection Cracking

Cracking at the pavement surfacing resulting from movement associated with cracks or joints in an underlying pavement layer. It is caused by vertical or horizontal movements in the pavement beneath an overlay, brought on by expansion and contraction with temperature or moisture changes or the action of traffic.


See “Pavement Rehabilitation”.

Remaining Life

The future period, under current or stated use (e.g., traffic volume, type and growth), during which the asset condition is expected to remain within stated limits, provided that appropriate routine and preventive (periodic) maintenance are carried out.

Replacement Cost

A form of asset valuation where the asset value is determined by calculating the current cost of the most appropriate modern asset with equivalent service potential.

Reproduction Cost

A form of asset valuation where the asset value is determined by calculating the current cost of constructing or acquiring a copy of the existing asset.


A sprayed seal applied to a surface which has an existing seal.

Residual Value

A term used in economic analysis for the value of an asset at the end of the evaluation period.

RFP – Request for Proposal

A request for proposal (RFP) is an invitation to suppliers to submit a proposal on a service or product.

RFQ – Request for Quotation

A request for quotation (RFQ) is a process where suppliers are invited to take part in a bidding process and bid on certain services or products.

RFT – Request for Tender

A request for tender (RFT) is an invitation to suppliers to supply services or products.


A fresh valuation, as distinct from an indexed version of an earlier valuation. The act of recognizing a reassessment of the carrying amount of a non-current asset to its fair value at a particular date, bur excludes recoverable amount write-downs.

Rigid Pavement

A pavement with a Portland cement concrete base.

RMS (Roadware Management Suite)

Roadware Management Suite. RMS is the suite of Fugro Roadware's data processing software.


A route traveled by motor vehicles; in law, the public right-of-way between boundaries of adjoining properties.

Roughness (also see Macrotexture, Megatexture, and Microtexture)

A condition parameter to characterize deviations from the intended longitudinal profile of a road surface, with characteristic dimensions that affect vehicle dynamics, ride quality and dynamic loading on pavements and bridges. A measure of surface irregularities with wavelengths between 0.5m and 50m in the longitudinal profile of one or two wheel tracks in a traffic lane.

Routine Maintenance

Small mainly reactive works which are normally anticipated within a budget timeframe, but their precise nature, location and timing are not known in advance. Routine maintenance mainly consists of minor activities planned on a short term basis, usually about two weeks or less.


A condition parameter to characterize the transverse profile of a road surface. Rutting is a form of pavement deformation being a longitudinal depression in a road surface caused by traffic loading.


A section of road within which the road service level standard is consistent. Segments are defined on the basis of uniformity of inventory, treatment history, condition and use. Most pavement management systems rely on dividing a road network into a manageable number of segments to simplify analysis. A segment for pavement management purposes is generally between 500 m and 5 km long in rural areas (much shorter in urban areas). Segments are also referred to as links, blocks, treatment lengths, etc.

Service Level

Same as “Level of service”.


The portion of the carriageway beyond the traffic lanes, and contiguous and flush with the surface of the traffic lanes.


Lateral displacement of pavement structure, caused by braking, accelerating or turning vehicles.

Skid Resistance

A condition parameter to characterize the contribution that a road makes to the friction between a road surface and a vehicle tire. Skid resistance is usually measured on wet surfaces.

Smart Texture

The Smart Texture subsystem is a vehicle mounted module that utilizes high frequency (64 kHz) lasers to measure the mean profile depth (MPD) of road surface macrotexture. Click here for more information.


A surface defect chiefly in concrete and occasionally in heavily bound pavements, where disintegration occurs at edges, joints, corners or cracks.

Sprayed Seal

A thin layer of binder sprayed onto a road surface with a layer of aggregate incorporated (usually rolled in), intended to be impervious to water.

Stabilization (Pavement)

Treatment of a pavement material to improve it or correct a known deficiency, and thus enhance its ability to perform its function in the pavement.


The loss of aggregate from a sprayed seal under traffic, caused by the separation of the binder film from the surface of the aggregate, usually in the presence of water.

Surface Texture

A condition parameter to characterize the average height between peaks and troughs in the surface of the road. Macrotexture depth is usually the reported condition parameter for surface texture, and may be reported as “mean texture depth” as obtained from the sand patch test method.

Surface Texture Deficiency

A general term for defects manifested by reductions in macrotexture and microtexture, loss of surfacing materials, flushing, polishing, raveling, stripping and delamination.

Surfacing / Wearing Surface

The uppermost part of the pavement or bridge deck specifically designed to resist abrasion from traffic and to minimize the entry of water.

Texture Depth

The average height of aggregate particles above the binder in a road surface. (Essentially the same as “Surface Texture”.)

Traffic Lane

A portion of the roadway allocated for a single line of vehicles.

Value Management

A structured, analytical process to assist in project evaluation at the concept and design stages, by carefully defining project objectives, considering a range of alternative options for achieving the essential objectives, and relating achievement to cost, so that the investment returns are maximized.

Valuation of Assets

The process of attributing a cost to an asset, for the purpose of recognizing the asset in the corporate financial statements.

Works Effects

The effects of physical treatments on both the absolute value and the rate of change over time of specific pavement condition parameters or combinations of condition parameters, recognizing that some condition parameters are related. 

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