Maintenance is the pivotal activity in maintaining the efficiency of the entire highway infrastructure.
All areas where maintenance is required are important because they all contribute to the objective of obtaining an adequate level of service in terms of safety and comfort. The key areas of emphasis are as follows.
Maintaining surfaces at a good level of efficiency allows for adequate vehicle grip. Maintenance generally consists of two distinct phases:
- monitoring and control of the functional and structural characteristics of the road surface;
- preventive and corrective maintenance work to restore the structural and surface conditions of the road surface.
On the basis of the results of the analysis resulting from the first phase, the programmed maintenance interventions of the surfaces are planned, which consist of the restoration of the conditions of the superficial characteristics, if the relative indices are lacking, or require deep restoration, if the bearing capacity indices are insufficient.
Particularly important is the drainage-noise absorbing surfaces that allow a greater intrinsic safety of the infrastructure, greater driving comfort thanks to the strong decrease in the phenomenon of “spray” created by vehicles in case of rain, and a lower environmental impact thanks to the lower noise emission resulting from the passage of vehicles.
A final aspect to highlight is the now massive use of the technique of recycling surfaces that, once removed, are reused again, thus extending their useful life cycle indefinitely with obvious environmental advantages (fewer quarries for new aggregates, fewer landfills for the disposal of products resulting from demolition).
Horizontal and vertical signage
Particular care is taken in the maintenance of all signage and highly visible reflective elements, placed on the sides of the roadways to indicate the limits.
Vertical and horizontal signs and roadway limit markings are constantly checked in order to keep them efficient in terms of legibility and visibility.
All junctions, intersections with ordinary roads and toll barriers are equipped with lighting installations that guarantee, in all conditions, the necessary visibility at the points where traffic coming from different directions meets.
All systems are constantly monitored to ensure seamless operation.
The control of the conditions of stability and functionality of bridges, overpasses and underpasses is carried out periodically by specialized personnel.
The safety barriers along the highway reduce the possibility of vehicles overturning or running off the road and, due to their particular characteristics, absorb the energy of impact. In addition to periodic maintenance and immediate replacement in case of damage, a further improvement of the functional characteristics is underway to continue the modernization of the infrastructure.
In order to ensure suitable conditions of safety and passability even during the winter period in the presence of adverse weather conditions such as snowfall and temperatures well below freezing, the Company uses the winter maintenance service.
Interventions to prevent the formation of ice, are carried out using specific equipment for spreading the appropriate fluxes, such as sodium chloride, according to established procedures. Snow removal is also carried out according to predefined guidelines and the operators intervene under the coordination of the Operations Center.
The activity is coordinated by the technical staff of Autostrada Asti-Cuneo S.p.A., while the continuous patrolling of the relevant sections is entrusted to the Traffic Wardens.