Ironwork Is ‘a key risk factor in highway deterioration’
Highways technology experts Gaist use advanced data capture techniques to provide highly detailed images and analysis on the condition of hundreds of thousands of miles of the UK’s roads.
The company captures data for over a third of all local authorities and works with national bodies such as the Department for Transport to produce groundbreaking image based intelligence to tackle the issues facing our transport infrastructure.
Its data-gathering activities and subsequent analysis highlights a wide range of road deterioration related to the formation of potholes - including where they are located near or around ironworks. Here Christina Liassides, Gaist’s head of professional services, explains.
How Does Failing Ironwork Contribute To The Deterioration Of Road Surfaces?
Gaist routinely identifies ironwork such as gullies and covers within its condition survey because these are a key risk factor, particularly for deterioration in the carriageway. “Manhole covers, utility access covers, drainage grates and other ironwork can contribute to localised road deterioration that can significantly impact over the longer term,” said Christina.
“This has been borne out by and tested through us routinely performing accurate and detailed surveys and developing identification and lifecycle models over many years. “As our technology surveys the whole carriageway and can identify any emerging defects, we are able to see a correlation between ironwork and the localised deterioration of road surfaces.”
How Does Roadside Intelligence Identify The Type Of Damage You See?
Our condition analysis has been established over many years of working with highways authorities in the UK and uses a combination of high-quality data capture and cloud based advanced image analysis."
“This data, from rural and urban locations, usually forms an annual survey for local authorities and looks at kerb-to-kerb conditions for each section of the road. Some urban local authorities also use our imagery to identify issues monthly, where potholes can be picked up much more quickly."
“It means we can supply real-time intelligence about the whole roadscape environment - and our in-house analysis of the results helps us to drive a deeper understanding and a more multi-faceted approach to highways safety and maintenance."
“The types of damage we typically see around ironwork includes arc cracking - often caused by water ingress - and crazing or potholing, where the movement of the ironwork breaks up the surrounding material, weakening its structural integrity and increasing permeability.”
Despite the information around ironwork and the connection to pothole formations being just one part of our overall data collection concerning the UK’s road network, we recognise the importance of this issue to the industry. We hope that through closer collaboration and sharing of information we can help the sector devise the solutions needed to tackle this very serious and costly issue. "