This post provides some ideas to think about when applying a Carpe Diem Strategy to Road Networks
Road networks generally have a well-established operation, maintenance, asset inspection, asset rehabilitation and renewal programmes of works.
During community lockdowns, these programmes have been suspended, but are ready to commence again as soon as community lockdown ceases.
Completing major road network upgrades or rehabilitation works can be very disruptive to road users, and in town centres / central business districts, also very disruptive to adjacent businesses.
All road network managers and engineers know about the amount of liaison and planning that goes into minimising the disruption caused by major works.
My base assumption is that following COVID-19 lockdowns there will be a period of partial lockdown, and then a full resumption of community use of the roading networks.
The assumption is that there will be a period of lesser road network usage, and this provides a unique opportunity to complete necessary works, whilst minimising disruption.
Think about pulling forward works to achieve this if it is an option, particularly in town centres and central business districts.
The COVID-19 lockdowns also provide an opportunity to catch up on streamlining processes, updating systems and communications protocols as necessary.
Here in New Zealand, the four-week community lockdown provides the opportunity for:
- Engineering design
- Business association and/or community consultation
- Proposal review and approval
- Pre-construction mobilisation
- Pre-construction community communication
to occur in preparation for any works that you want to achieve in the following partial lockdown periods.
Can I encourage you to seize the day and use this unique opportunity to get ahead of work and prepare for the welcome resumption of full road network usage?
Finally, please do not forget your various contractors and service providers. They need work and income as much as anyone else over the next few months.
If there is no work provided this increases with the risk that they will not be available when you need them going forward.
Please communicate with them, share your plans, indicate what work will be required and when so that they can plan to assist you as required.