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COST 343
Reduction in Road Closures by Improved Pavement Maintenance Procedures

COST 343 Image

Chairman: Dr. Govert Sweere (NL)
Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management
Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management
Fax: +31 15 2 518 555
Email: (email removed)

Vice-Chairmen: Prof. Johan Litzka (A)
Institut fûr Strassenbau und Strassenerhaltung
Fax: +43 1 58801 233 99
Email: (email removed)

Mr. Leo Dohmen (NL)
Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management
Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management
Fax: +31 15 2 518 555
Email: (email removed)

Scientific secretary: Mr. Magnus Carle
European Commission
Directorate General for Energy and Transport
Fax: +32 2 296 37 65
Email: (email removed)


4 Years, to April 2003.


21 COST Countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

1 institution from a non-COST countries: The US Transportation Research Board


The main objective of the Action is to achieve an appropriate balance in European practice between engineering-focused pavement maintenance and user costs, delays and safety hazards. This objective will be attained through the identification, at European level, of the most appropriate pavement maintenance options, and through the proposal of procedures for the organisation of such maintenance.

The study of road pavement maintenance in a COST Action will also enhance the profile of this technical field to researchers, which in the end could lead to innovations in pavement maintenance beyond the scope of the proposed Action. The work will therefore also include recommendations for future research requirements.


  1. A database of pavement maintenance options, including data on life expectancy and data on the time required for application.
  2. A review of current schemes for the organisation of pavement maintenance, plus a portfolio of selected schemes resulting in minimum traffic disruption.
  3. A flow chart procedure for selecting maintenance options at the project level.
  4. A procedure for integrating the planning of various maintenance needs at the network level.
  5. The Final Report of the Action.


A large proportion of the traffic delays on European highways are caused by road closures and closures of individual lanes for pavement maintenance purposes. In urban areas, pedestrians, cyclist and car users are often severely hindered by such road closures. Little research effort has, however, been done at European level to remedy the social and economic drawbacks of this situation. Further, the main expenditure on roads in most European countries is targeted at maintaining the existing infrastructure, rather than at building new roads. From an economic point of view, road pavement maintenance should therefore receive more attention in transportation research than it currently does.

Benefits to Different Types of Users

The potential benefits arising from the proposed Action are substantial. Better co-ordination of the application of optimised pavement maintenance measures will lead to a substantial reduction in the user costs involved with the road closures caused by such maintenance. These costs involve both the actual costs of the delays in terms of time and fuel consumption, but also, more importantly, the social and economic costs associated with the safety hazards resulting from road closures.

The main beneficiaries of the results of the proposed Action are, first of all, the private citizens of Europe. The private sector i.e. the European road industry is also targeted as user of the results of the proposed Action. It will produce an overview of European procedures at road works and yield the potential for improved planning of such works. European academia will benefit through using the results of the proposed Action in teaching in civil engineering courses, thereby bringing the results to the attention of students who would implement the findings as new highway engineers. The public sector, finally, will derive information for new legislation in this area from the results of the Action.

At the national, regional and local level, the principal benefit of the Action is reduced disruption of all forms of road travel. For the local level specifically, benefits will arise for pedestrians in towns because of reduced danger of interrupted footways. Cyclists also will benefit at the local level because of a reduction in the necessity for merging with vehicle traffic at road closures. At European level, in addition to improving the efficiency of the Trans-European Transport Network, a major benefit of the Action will be the transfer of technology to Eastern European countries. Globally, the results of the Action will be transferred through growing networks of experts participating with their US and other counterparts.

Related Activities

Image Last Updated: 22-03-2001

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