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Process of optimisation in Maintenance and Rehabilitation Management System of Roads (MMSR) (VSS1999/293)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Over the last few years highway agencies have increasingly tried to coordinate highway interventions in order to reduce both their number and duration, and global maintenance costs. The coordination of these interventions alone, however, is not sufficient to determine optimal groupings of interventions or optimal long term intervention strategies. These tasks are only systematically possible by using appropriate optimisation methods. Since it has only recently become desirable to use optimisation methods in highway agencies, due to the increasing power of computers and increasingly restrained budgets, there is not yet sufficient knowledge with respect to their suitability to specific problems. 


The  research project  has the following goals:

  • Unification of characterisation of variants from the sub-systems PMS, BMS and EMS for the process of optimising, by minimising of number of indicators
  • Determining of a method of optimising for the level of RMMS to create optimal solution of measures and packages of measures, by taking into consideration of geographical optimising as a main issue
  • Determining of basis for the relevant standards

The research deals with the multi-criteria optimisation and economic process in the implementation of conservation measures and shows their applicability and limitations.

The use of optimisation processes brings primarily for road networks with high traffic load (motorways, high performance, and main roads outside cities) distinctive advantages.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The research work presented has been conducted to elaborate on the use of multi-criteria and economic optimisation methods to plan interventions, including discussion of the possibilities and limits of their use.

A number of optimization methods are discussed in the final report, since no one optimisation method is applicable for all of the sub-systems that comprise highway infrastructure. In addition to the elaboration of a number of optimisation methods to be used in the management of highway infrastructure, this research shows that the use of optimization methods to plan interventions results in the most significant improvements for roads with high traffic volume (freeways, inter-urban and urban express ways,), i.e. user costs are the highest.

It is also shown that the optimal intervention packages are normally triggered by either pavement or bridge intervention needs. The intervention needs of other sub-systems, such as the EMS (Equipment Maintenance System) rarely trigger such packages.

The results of this research can be used by highway agencies to determine the suitable optimisation methods for the management of their infrastructure.  The use of these optimisation methods should be supported by appropriate standards and training.

The main conclusions of this research are:

The application of optimisation procedures at level overall system leads primarily for roads with heavy traffic for a substantial reduction of overall costs and to increase the overall benefit.

As part of this research, it was found that the importance of the two subsystems PMS and BMS is dominant for optimisation at level overall system. The reason for this lies particularly in the fact that the state change of the objects of these subsystems is continuous or stepwise.

The results also shows the examples calculated in the report where the use of optimisation techniques leads to an increase of the benefit / cost ratio of packages of measures.

The objective of the optimisation problem is crucial for which are use of the two methods of economic or multi-criteria optimisation.

Recommendations: These are measures at various levels, namely standardization, research and practical application.

For standardisation of the developed bases proposals for the structure and content of two specific standards are presented in the report, which was submitted to the Commission 7.

For the practical application of the findings, it is recommended that the road


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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