Smart Roads – closed



However much Amsterdam strives to combine road works, it happens regularly that a recently built road has to be reopened because a third party needs to carry out works there. This is not only annoying for surrounding residents, users and visitors, but is also a waste of resources.

Roads deteriorate due to use and the compounding of their substrate; that is why they are replaced every 30 or 40 years as part of their management and maintenance cycle. Just like roads, cables and pipes, buildings (public and private) and quay walls have their own management and maintenance cycle. These cycles impact on each other and affect the quality of the associated activities.

Each year, the City decides which part of the road network is due for replacement. The relevant data are derived from schedules, administrative requirements, inspections, specialist research and on-site observations. The inspection is initially a visual scan and only provides an indication; all the components that appear inadequate must then be inspected in more detail. The visual inspections are labour-intensive and take a long time to complete.

We see all sorts of developments in the digital world that could help us in the task of management and maintenance. Various developments in digital data collection have occurred in recent years that could help make road management more integral and easier. Unfortunately, so far we still have not found a user-friendly tool offering user-friendly access to integral and up-to-date information, enabling us to organise road management with optimum coordination between all parties.  Nor a tool that assures proper maintenance Amsterdam’s road network with minimum nuisance for users, and at lower costs.


The challenge

Develop an innovative solution to improve (with the aid of data technology) the management of the city’s road network.



  • Must be compatible with the CROW road management system (CROW publications 146 and 147);
  • The information must be properly secured so that it cannot fall into the hands of unauthorised users;
  • The information must be integrated or coupled with our current management system, GISIB, in which all information regarding the road network is stored.


Extra background information

In practice, we encounter the following issues:

  • Visual inspections do not provide insight into the structure of the surfacing, construction thicknesses, type of material and the presence of underground obstacles (cables and pipes, also other unexpected objects);
  • Visual inspections are labour-intensive and dependent on the inspector’s personal assessment. As a result, the inspection takes a long time to complete and the inspection values may vary if the inspections are performed by different inspectors;
  • If an inspection is converted into a maintenance programme, this again calls for a visual scan on-site (the so-called measure test);
  • There is too little information on the amount of traffic using our roads and the weight of this traffic. This information is important to determining the remaining lifetime of a road;
  • Inspections are conducted in a mono-disciplinary manner. Thus, one inspector examines the road surface, another examines the road markings, and a third examines the street furniture.

Further goals that we wish to achieve are:

  • Detailed, unambiguous and accurate information that can be used for long-term maintenance programmes;
  • The ability to make a better analysis of the road deformation and subsidence;
  • To have more information on the intensity and weight of the traffic using the roads;
  • To be able to schedule our activities more effectively and over a longer period;
  • To be able to inform public and private owners more specifically in order to implement measures/spread out risks;
  • To minimise the risk of duplicating work activities;
  • To bring more unity to the visual scan;
  • To gain a more detailed picture of the roads, from facade to facade, so including greenery, pavements, bicycle lanes, street markings and street furniture.


Issued by: RVE Verkeer en Openbare Ruimte – Assets Verhardingen

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