Implementation of a National Pavement Management System
In late 1998, New Zealand decided to implement a national pavement management system. The new system was to be used by all local authorities (cities and districts) including the intercity state highway network, consultants and contractors. This included over 80 different agencies who were responsible for a network of approximately 100,000 km of sealed and unsealed roads.
The new system needed to build on the existing road management inventory system as well as integrate with an existing funding framework. The system also had to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the many agencies who would be depending on it. The RIMS Group recommended Deighton's dTIMS and successfully implemented a single system for the many different Road Controlling Authorities nationwide.
The evolutionary nature of road management in New Zealand and the likelihood of future changes meant that it was important to adopt as flexible a system as possible. The project sponsors did not want to tie themselves to a single supplier who would be required to make all future modifications to the system on their behalf.
The system needed to be an open system that allowed the users to alter the models or the framework without relying on the original software vendor. The new pavement management system needed to accommodate all types of roads, including chip seals, asphalt pavements and unsealed roads. The system also had to be implemented and pilot tested in only seven months.
The RIMS Group recommended that New Zealand acquire Deighton's dTIMS software. Using a national site license, New Zealand easily integrated dTIMS with their existing system. The RIMS group implemented the dTIMS software on schedule, as well as developing and implementing a national training program. In 2001, the New Zealand dTIMS Project was awarded the Supreme Award for engineering excellence for information technology from the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ). Throughout the project, a helpdesk was in place to ensure suitable support and system feedback was provided. In addition, regional user groups have been in operation since 2000. These groups provide a forum for users to share their experiences, as well as provide input into the direction of the system through enhancements.
The unique flexibility of the dTIMS software allowed each agency to define their own models, based on their needs and objectives, and then analyze their models using dTIMS's heuristic optimization and excellent output functions. All of the country's road authorities were able to use dTIMS for any component of the road infrastructure, such as roads, footpaths and pipes. In 2015, building on the success of their dTIMS system, New Zealand upgraded the New Zealand dTIMS System (NZdTIMS) to dTIMS v8.