What is the Road Surface Management System?
The Road Surface Management System (RSMS) is a methodology intended to provide an overview and estimate of a road system’s condition and the approximate costs for future improvements. RSMS provides a systematic approach for local officials to answer basic questions about their road system, to gauge current network conditions and to guide future improvement and investment in line with municipal Capital Improvement Programs. The RSMS program provides information on the condition, traffic, and importance of roads in a town to create a long term maintenance program.
The RSMS system utilized by CNHRPC is based on the Road Condition Decline Curve below, which illustrates that roads in good condition cost less to maintain than those in poor condition. Routine maintenance on roadways in generally good condition is often the most important strategy to consider. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), every $1 spent to keep a road in good condition avoids $6-14 needed later to rebuild the same road once it has deteriorated significantly. Investing too little on road repair increases these future liabilities.

Components of the RSMS Program

The RSMS contains five components:

 Road Inventory: The inventory contains essential information for the RSMS management process. Users divide the road network into sections based on surface condition and changes in geometry. Information is gathered through historical data analysis and a windshield study.

Road Surface Condition Survey: RSMS measures road condition in terms of the extent of surface distress and drainage characteristics. The default surface types and distresses were developed for local New England road networks. CNHRPC staff will identify surface conditions through an extensive field survey stage.

 Priority Analysis: Based on surface condition, the RSMS program categorizes each road section and determines a strategy for its repair. It then calculates a priority value for each road section.

 Repair Selection: The RSMS program contains information on many specific road repairs. Users can also customize the program to utilize repair strategies that are favored in a particular municipality. RSMS provides a short list of repairs appropriate for each road section. When users select a specific repair, RSMS calculates the cost for that section and the total cost for the network.

 Planning & Budget Preparation: Users can plan repairs in single or multiple years by selecting different repairs and analyzing the effect on the total cost. This allows municipalities to create both short and long term budgetary plans which is useful in the development of municipal capital improvement programs.

For more information on initiating an RSMS program in your community contact Dean Williams.