Main Roads WA – An Innovative approach to quantify relationship between customer satisfaction and pavement rehabilitation



The nominated project is aimed at developing a ten-year strategic state-wide capital investment program for pavement rehabilitation to address the critical problem of pavement failures that leads to declining customer satisfaction.

The project developed an innovative approach to establish a relationship between pavement performance and customer satisfaction, allowing more robust strategic long-term capital investment decisions.

The project uses best practice asset management principles to minimise whole of life costs of road maintenance, balance cost, risk, and performance, and provide line of sight between strategic direction and tactical-level decision-making.

The project won 2022 Main Roads Managing Director’s award for Innovation.

Project Team:

Lalinda Karunaratne (Member of AMC), Yogesh Shinde, Per Sauer, Nicholas Archer, Matthew Golightly, Qindong Li, Martin Baumgartner, Brett Belstead, Maurice Cammack, Ammar Mohammed

1. Description of the project


Project Background

The increase in pavement failure rates due to age, increased traffic loading and poor pavement condition leads to unsustainable maintenance cost, reduced level of service, increased road safety risk, declined customer satisfaction and loss of organisational reputation.

To address this problem, the team developed a 10-year strategic state-wide pavement rehabilitation program with a total capital expenditure of $500 million using historical pavement repair costs, advanced modelling, and data analytics, and field validation.

Use of Best Practice Asset Management Principles

  • Minimise whole of life costs of road maintenance – Network-wide whole of life cost modelling was undertaken in a leading Infrastructure Asset Management System, namely dTIMS, to identify optimum maintenance treatments. In the last two decades, Main Roads WA has spent many efforts in developing advanced predictive models for the system.
  • Balance cost, risk and performance – The project analyses different cost scenarios to show the risk to the organisation through customer satisfaction and the effect on road network performance
  • Provide line of sight – This approach provides line of sight between strategic direction of ‘A well maintained road network’ and tactical-level decision making for road rehabilitation. The project also aligned high-level government and agency frameworks. 

Degree of originality and ingenuity of solution

  • This is the first time that the relationship between pavement performance measurement and customer satisfaction measure was explored. The model enables Main Roads predict customer response to maintenance funding scenarios
  • Based on project consultant’s comments, a world leading modelling expert from New Zealand, the pavement modelling validation methodology developed by the team represents one of best practices in the world. Therefore, the model provides trustworthy results for decision makers.
  • By conducting scenario analysis, for the first time Main Roads can quantify the impacts on the network pavement performance and customer response, from various maintenance funding levels. The information can help the government to make more robust strategic long term funding decisions.
  • This approach allows transparent and objective decision-making for road maintenance by providing line of sight between decisions and their outcomes. 
  • Case study of section along a major highway for base case and project case cost comparison based on actual maintenance costs to show maintenance costs savings.
  • This is also the first time, at whole of network level, Main Roads assessed the benefits to motorists and freight industry from a state-wide pavement rehabilitation program.
  • The work has drawn significant interests from other jurisdictions. The team has provided several cross-agency presentations to share our good practice.

Benefit/Value of the project or service to the community or organisation

The innovative approach provides appealing justification for a constant allocation of funding for pavement rehabilitation work that brings the following significant benefits to Western Australian state road network and our community:

  • Significantly reducing the cost to motorists and freight industry
  • Significantly reducing maintenance costs to Main Roads
  • Reducing road safety risk level across the network
  • Improving network condition and customer satisfaction
  • Preserving the most valued state asset – the state road pavement network
    • The program will play a key role in preserving the asset value of state pavement network which has an approximately value over $10 billion
    • The program will provide $500 million capital rehabilitation funding in the next ten years
    • The program will reduce network length in poor/ very poor condition categories by 240 km

2. Contribution made by the nominated team

The team including subject matter experts in asset modelling, pavement maintenance, project & economic evaluation, and data analytics & visualisation, successfully developed an innovative approach that tells an appealing data story by projecting future network conditions and levels of customer satisfaction under various rehabilitation funding scenarios.

The following tasks were undertaken by the team:

  • Defined the problem and formulated a project scope
  • Engaged a world leading expert in pavement modelling for strategic advice
  • Validated and improved dTIMS network level pavement performance models using Main Roads historical road condition data
  • Collected state-wide pavement repairs and network maintenance data to evaluate total maintenance costs. Conducted advanced analytics and modelling work
  • Conducted scenario analysis to identified potential solutions and providing decision-making options to the management
  • Calculated the Benefit Cost Ratios for each scenario that considers residual asset values, maintenance costs & road user costs
  • Refined communication techniques through conducting various workshops
  • Developed highly effective communication materials for targeted audiences – both technical and non-technical.

The project presents an industry best practice in adopting data driven decision making for identifying sustainable maintenance funding level that allows Main Roads to continuously improve road network conditions while increasing the asset value through capitalisation and providing a better service to the road users.

The project also won the Main Roads Managing Director’s award for Innovation for 2022 beating 11 other nominations. The award underlines both the innovative nature of the project and the strategic importance to the organization.


Figure 1: Scenario analysis of various rehabilitation funding and the impact on road network condition performance

Figure 2: Impact on road network condition performance from inappropriate funding allocation

Figure 3: Potential impact on customer satisfaction from various funding scenarios

Figure 4: Receiving Main Roads Managing Director’s award for Innovation in Dec 2022

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