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Using Experts’ Knowledge to Identify Deterioration Factors of Dutch Highways

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This study has emerged because of changes in the construction industry. New procurement strategies and new forms of contracts necessitate a change in contractors’ acting. This study has outlined the consequences of changing procurement strategies from the Dutch government for infrastructural/road projects. Changing procurement strategies imply that the Dutch government is outsourcing tasks and responsibilities to the market parties by means of so called performance based contracts. This dilemma is approached from contractors’ perspective, because they are confronted with new tasks and responsibilities for long periods of time. The new tasks and responsibilities are an incentive for contractors to increase the knowledge about pavement performance. The responsible party for the long-term functioning of roads needs to increase their understanding about the actual long-term performances. Contractors do, however, not have enough experience and understanding of long-term pavement performance. The current market demand reaches beyond the experience domain of the contractors. A large amount of factors and complex interactions between factors affect pavement performance which make predicting pavement performance a difficult matter. In addition, prediction models that cope with the dilemma of performance predictions are lacking data to create reliable input parameters. The factors that influence pavement deterioration are not well understood and data about these factors is lacking. Better understanding about the factors that influence pavement deterioration is needed for contractors to increase the understanding of long-term pavement performance. Factors that explain abnormal pavement deterioration should be identified. Understanding these factors is needed so one can expand its knowledge domain and better cope with the new tasks and responsibilities that come with Performance Based Contracting.

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