Roma-Taroom Road: advancing design and construction practice for low volume roads

Since 2005, the Queensland Government has been upgrading a lowly trafficked road between Roma and Taroom from a fixed allocation of $AU30M. The existing road contains extensive lengths of boggy clay soil, and provides significant disruption to road users after rain. As this allocation will be insufficient to complete the road, the project managers have been working with specialist design staff to challenge current design standards, to stretch the available funding without compromising safety. They have achieved excellent results, and have constructed to 8m sealed standard 40 km of new road, and widened 31km of single lane road to two lane road, from the first $AU23.5M. The conclusion reached from this case and two others in Queensland, is that it is nonsensical to demand ultra conservative design models for some elements (e.g. crests) at the expense of addressing other more serious safety risks for road users in other elements such as unsealed shoulders and even (as in Roma-Taroom) unsealed and unpaved formation. Upgrading of a crest within a project should not occur unless it can be economically justified together with a review of its safety performance and the environmental impact of the work. It is wrong to simply deem a crest unsafe because it does not conform to new road criteria and sometimes even to extended domain design criteria. American research would indicate that safety benefits of higher standards for crests are likely to be low, while earthworks costs are ever increasing. This work provides guidance to other engineers seeking to obtain maximum value for investment dollars for lowly trafficked roads.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 4p (oral presentations)
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 531

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01382610
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 1:24PM