Austroads: Transport Research and Trends

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Perceptual Countermeasure Treatments to Reduce Crash Risks in Tunnels


Road tunnels are major pieces of infrastructure across the road network, and the number of tunnels is expected to increase in the coming years. Although they are relatively safe, a significant number of crashes occur on the approaches to and within tunnels.

Austroads commissioned the University of New South Wales, Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI) to investigate and evaluate the application of low-cost perceptual countermeasure (PCM) treatments in road tunnel environments as a means of improving driver speed behaviour, alertness and lane discipline, thereby reducing crash risk. The project involved two key research activities.

Research Activity 1 involved a systematic literature review and stakeholder consultation. Based on the outputs of these activities, three PCM treatments were selected for evaluation in a virtual reality driving simulator: Striped Wall Pattern; Rumble Strips (Edgeline and Centreline); and Pacemaker Lighting.

Research Activity 2 involved an experimental study conducted in the virtual reality driving simulator, located at rCITI. The virtual 3D environment for the driving simulator was based on the cross-sectional layout and alignments of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. Driving performance data as well as subjective feedback from participants relating to their interaction with the PCM treatments were collected and analysed.

This webinar provides an overview of the two research activities and the key findings deriving from them. It is presented by Professor Michael Regan, Julius Secadiningrat, Dr. Prasannah Prabhakharan, and Mitchell Cunningham.

Guide to Road Tunnels Part 2 Update: Rationalising Network Signage for Over-height Vehicles


A recently completed project has recommended changes to the Austroads Guide to Road Tunnels Part 2: Planning, Design and Commissioning to provide guidance on rationalising road signs on the approaches to tunnels, to divert over-height and dangerous goods vehicles that approach tunnel entrances.

When these vehicles attempt to pass through tunnels that have not been designed to cater for them, this can cause significant damage to the infrastructure, massive traffic congestion and, in some unfortunate circumstances, injury or loss of life of the motorists. As such, it is highly advantageous to divert these vehicles away from tunnels wherever possible to reduce these negative impacts.

This webinar, presented by Bob Allen, Marcus van der Velden, Lindsay Edmonds and Charmaine Joe, covers the following:

  • Project methodology and key findings of the review
  • Current signage practices review and gap analysis
  • Proposed signage scheme
  • Human factors considerations.

Austroads Project Pipeline 2021-22


This webinar provides an overview of Austroads’ projects 2021-22 and what is required to work with Austroads.

The session is beneficial to consultants who may be interested in tendering for Austroads projects.

The projects discussed focus on data collection and management, digital engineering, tunnel design and componentry, bridge assessment, pavement technology, road design, road safety audits, driver licensing, environment reporting, and vehicle and infrastructure connectivity.

The webinar is presented by Paul Davies, Austroads Acting General Manager Operations, and program managers:

  • Ross Guppy, Program Manager Transport Infrastructure
  • Michael Nieuwesteeg, Program Manager Road Safety and Design
  • Richard Delplace, Program Manager Transport Network Operations
  • Vibeke Matthews, Acting Program Manager Future Vehicles and Technology, and Environment and Sustainability Program.

Dangerous Goods in Tunnels


This webinar provides an overview of an Austroads project that examined the passage of dangerous good through Australasian road tunnels, and continuing studies on this topic.

It covers:

  • the background of the project
  • a standardised methodology to guide the assessment of risk and the variations between existing tunnels and tunnels entering the design phase
  • current national and international practice
  • the next stage of the study.

The webinar was presented on 12 September 2019 by Nigel Casey and Bruce Dandie.

Guide to Road Tunnels Part 4: Retrofitting Tunnels


This webinar provides an overview of the new Guide to Road Tunnels Part 4: Retrofitting Tunnels and the requirements for developing a project to upgrade a road tunnel.

It covers:

  • why a retrofitting project may be required for a tunnel
  • the types of retrofitting projects
  • the process of developing a retrofitting project
  • acceptable standards for retrofitting
  • retrofitting or refurbishing individual components of the tunnel or tunnel systems
  • achieving energy efficiency in tunnel construction and operation by adopting appropriate solutions
  • case studies on the M2 Norfolk Twin Tunnels NSW and the refurbishment of the Terrace Tunnel, New Zealand.

The webinar was presented on 29 August 2019 presented by Les Louis.

Updated Guidance for the Design of New Pavement for Road Tunnels


This webinar gives an overview of the key changes to the Guide to Road Tunnels Part 2: Planning, Design and Commissioning.

It covers

  • the design criteria for pavements in tunnels
  • how the pavement may form the tunnel floor structure
  • typical pavement profiles in tunnels
  • the common pavement wearing surfaces
  • allowances to consider for the construction and maintenance of the tunnel and pavement.

The webinar presented on 30 April 2019 by George Vorobieff.

Suggested Good Practice for Road Tunnel Emergency Egress Signage


This webinar provides an overview of an Austroads study to develop suggested good practice for a consistent, efficient and safe approach to emergency egress signage within Australasian road tunnels.

It covers:

  • how signage supports the requirements of the relevant phases of the evacuation process
  • comparisons of signage within existing or under construction tunnels in Australasia and their alignment with local standards and international practice
  • the results and conclusions of the assessment, including the recommended emergency evacuation signage for use within Australasian road tunnels
  • other elements identified that are important in the context of supporting the evacuation process.

The webinar was presented on 9 November 2018 by Tony Peglas.

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