With the start of the New Year, it is timely to try to answer the questions 'What is ARRB?', 'Where did it come from?', 'What does it do?'
Since 1960, ARRB has existed to serve its Members - the Australian road and transport agencies - firstly as a centre for research of common interest, then as an outsourced research/consulting provider, and now as a developer of solutions, builder of capability and a repository of expertise.
These changes reflect the changing roles of its Members. Organisations which once undertook full service engineering and construction now manage sophisticated road networks. Financially the post-war boom has moved to a more stringent economic climate, with many Member organisations being required to make considerable efficiency gains and to curtail their in-house operations.
The ARRB of today exists to serve its Members by maintaining and making available expertise and development in areas which are of importance to Members but in which they cannot individually justify employing sufficient resources themsevles to maintain critical mass for sustainability.
Recent examples include ARRB researching for, and then developing, an extensive list of national technical guidelines, delivering workshops on topics of wide technical interest (e.g. managed motorways), implementing asset management tools and expert systems (e.g. dTIMS, ROMAN II, ANRAM, and PBS-RAT) for Member agencies, the re-design of GIPSICAM to bring it up to current standards, and work on the specification of cementitious and recycled materials.
At the same time, ARRB now has a funding agreement with Austroads to maintain sustainable expertise (critical mass) in a number of areas essential to its Members.
With the overall objective to support its Members ARRB's goals now are:
- To ensure sustainable expertise
- To manage the reserach investment portfolio
- To disseminate relevent science and technical information
- To operate as a commercially viable (sustainable) business.
ARRB's vision is to be the trusted advisor to road authorities for tecnhical input and solutions.