Back to Resources

Austroads road engineering guides 2009

The NZ Transport Agency will be formally integrating the new guides into their business from the 1st August 2010.

Austroads(external link) launched a new series of road engineering guides on 1 July 2009. They replace the now withdrawn Austroads guide to engineering practice series.

The 10 guides - comprising 96 parts - relate to almost every aspect of a road project life cycle, including:

  • asset management

  • bridge and pavement technology

  • project delivery and evaluation

  • road design, safety and transport planning

  • traffic management and tunnels.

A list(external link) showing which parts/guides replace the previous guides can be found on the Austroads website.

The NZ Transport Agency was instrumental in developing the guides and has responsibility for their use and ongoing development in this country. During 2010, industry practitioners will assist in validating the guides against current best practice in New Zealand. Any identified issues will be captured in either an amendment to the published guide or a specific New Zealand supplement.

About the Austroads road engineering guides 2009

Launched in July 2009, the Austroads road engineering guides relate to almost every aspect of a road project.

The 10 guides are grouped into three categories, according to their status and impact on the New Zealand road industry:

Category 1

These are critical documents that have high impact on processes or procedures and physical works; they replace existing active design manuals and standards. This category includes:

  • Road design (13 parts)

Category 2

These are best practice guidelines that have some impact on processes or procedures, rather than physical works; they are referred to in various manuals. This category includes:

  • Asset Management (16 parts)
  • Project Delivery (4 parts)
  • Traffic Management (13 parts).
  • Bridge Technology (7 parts)
  • Pavement Technology (22 parts)
  • Guide to Road Tunnels (3 parts)

Category 3

These are information documents provided largely for reference, with little or no variations from current practice. This category includes:

  • Project Evaluation (8 parts)
  • Road Safety (9 parts)
  • Transport Planning (1 part).

Applying the new guides - From 1st August 2010

In New Zealand, there will be a proving period, in the order of 12 months, during which time each of the new guidelines will be assessed by practitioners against current best practice. Any irreconcilable differences will be captured in a New Zealand supplement that will advise practitioners accordingly.

Project reviews

It will not be appropriate for all projects to be reviewed in relation to the new guides. However, it is important that all project mangers are aware of the content of the guides in sufficient detail for them to assess the impact on their individual projects, regardless of their stage.

From the 1st August 2010 the new guides, in association with the published New Zealand supplementary advice, should be used for the design or design review of:

  1. Any newly commissioned projects.
  2. Projects moving to the Scheme Assessment (SA) phase.
  3. Projects moving from SA to the detailed design (comprehensively reviewed against the GRD).
  4. Projects already in the detailed design phase (at the Project Manager's discretion).

Documentation updates

NZTA is undergoing a review of the existing manuals and guidelines to ensure consistency, in reference and content, with the new guides.

The NZ Transport Agency will use this website to keep the infrastructure industry informed in respect of the developments in status of the guides and the corresponding implementation plan.

Feedback welcome to


Most guides are available for purchase on the Austroads publications website(external link).

New Zealand local authorities can have free access to Austroads publications website through NZ Transport Agency's membership. Please email Austroads to request use of this access.

Give us your feedback

We'd like to hear your feedback on the guides - what works, what doesn't - as you apply them to your projects. Please email us with your comments.


Bookmark this page to keep a watch on our website for further developments on the status of the guides and the implementation of them.