It is said that drainage, drainage, drainage are the three factors that will help maintain roading infrastructure. Unsealed roads are very susceptible to rapid deterioration caused by traffic damage, and water entering the pavement. A well-drained road, with appropriate water control structures and vegetative erosion controls, will not only maintain higher pavement strength and require less maintenance, but will also reduce erosion and control sediment.
Poor design and construction, and the impact of frequent trucking associated with harvesting operations, will accelerate the need for repairs and maintenance. A minimum level of service indicator should be developed for each infrastructure type. This is the standard beyond which the structure is not allowed to deteriorate before maintenance is required.
There are three major post-construction activities that can occur on a forest road. These are road maintenance, road repair and road upgrade. Often the first two are considered jointly as repairs and maintenance. All roads need maintenance at regular intervals. Road repairs are typically carried out during and immediately after harvesting, during which intensive trucking will have caused damage over and above the normal ongoing ‘wear and tear’. A road upgrade is normally associated with bringing a substandard road up to a level where it can take logging traffic, or to a higher road standard category. Examples include an access track used for forest establishment and silviculture being widened and its alignment improved, or a secondary road upgraded to an arterial road to accommodate more extensive truck movements.