Investment strategies over full cycle of life of a flexible pavement
The pavement is one of the basic components of road infrastructure and, therefore, directly influences general levels of transport safety, as well as the quality of transportation services in human and cargo traffic. It also exerts a major influence on the final logistic costs of production and services in many aspects of everyday life. The continuity of transportation, which is closely tied to the development of a number of areas in the economy of every State, depends on the technical condition of the road pavement. Making proper investments in the complete course of life of the road pavement, a policy which makes sure that the conditions for continuous, safe, efficient, and economically optimised transportation are satisfied, is a priority for every administration managing municipal funds. If investments in the road pavement are not carried out properly, there usually are more and more road pavements the condition of which causes delays in transportation, and directly compromises traffic safety. Such a situation increases the running costs of vehicles, and decreases the transportation service levels and comfort of travelling. At the moment, the majority of pavements in Europe, (nearly 90% of all pavements) are flexible road pavements. Due to the prevalent number of flexible pavements in Europe, the author analyses investment in the course of full-time of life cycle of the pavements, with a stress on flexible pavements. The paper presents basic assumptions and definitions in the area of analysis of life cycle costs of a flexible road pavement, as well as profits associated with proper long range investment. The classification of damages to flexible road pavement has also been presented, and their influence on technical and use related assessment of road pavement conditions, basing on the traditional road pavement structures, with relation to the catalogue of typical flexible pavements used in Poland, as well as regarding French, British, and American experience in constructing long life road pavements. The second part of the paper discusses different investment strategies in the course of a full-time of life cycle of the road pavement, and proposes a procedure of evaluating investment strategies. The summary presents some assumptions for a global index of investment evaluation during the full-time of life cycle of a pavement, based on the Best Return Index (BRI).