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ARRB’s iPAVE helping Victoria’s road recovery

ARRB's iPAVE vehicle

World-first technology is being used to assess the condition of flood-damaged roads as part of the Victorian Government’s emergency road repair blitz.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne yesterday announced the Australian Road Research Board’s (ARRB) Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVE) will join the blitz, assessing the condition of more than 8400 kilometres of Victoria’s roads in the wake of recent floods and extreme rainfall.

“We’re using the latest technology to make sure we deliver the repairs needed right across our roads following the devastation caused by recent floods and extreme rainfall,” she said.

“Already, crews are making a start on delivering large-scale, long-term repairs, and this data will help to plan for further works, ensuring that the communities hit hardest by these floods remain connected to vital supplies and services.”

The broad spectrum of data collected by iPAVE will help plan for upcoming large-scale repairs and road maintenance across both regional and metropolitan Victoria.

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Equipped with a range of data collection systems, iPAVE can assess both the structural and functional condition of the road, using laser technology to look at characteristics including roughness, surface texture, and rutting.

Cracking and other surface data is assessed using an automated 3D monitoring system, while cameras mounted to the truck’s exterior will give road maintenance experts a first-hand look at the state’s road network.

Thanks to an on-board ground-penetrating radar, the iPAVE can also collect sub-surface data at the same time, giving experts a better understanding of what’s happening underneath the road surface.

These datasets are collected at the same time, in one trip, at highway speed.

Data collected as part of iPAVE’s most recent assessments will then be compared with similar information collected in 2021 to gauge the full impact of the recent floods.

More than 170 Victorian roads will undergo inspection by iPAVE, including major freight and tourist routes including the Hume, Western, Midland, Goulburn Valley, and Calder highways.

Larger-scale repairs are already underway on a range of roads across the state, as part of the Victorian Government’s $165 million emergency road repair blitz – with more to come as warmer, drier weather delivers more suitable conditions for major roadworks.

Since mid-October, a team of more than 500 workers has repaired more than 116,000 potholes and delivered emergency repairs to re-open more than 930 roads – both local and state-managed.

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