The federal trunk road network in Germany comprises some 13,000 kilometres of motorways as well as almost 40,000 kilometres of federal trunk roads, making it one of the densest national road networks in Europe. Awareness for the value of this transport infrastructure has grown significantly in recent years. The central task of the government's public service is the maintenance as well as the needs-based new construction and development of traffic infrastructure.
Increasing truck traffic and the associated high axle loads put increasing strains on the federal trunk road network as the central component of the overall transport infrastructure in Germany, which at the same time is subject to cuts in the funds required for investment. In order to counter this, the construction of roads has to be oriented not only to today's requirements but also to future challenges – for example climate change. Designs and construction methods for road paving as well as maintenance measures have to be further developed under technical and economic aspects. These aspects as well as high-grade and partly also new kinds of building methods and materials have to be assessed in relation to their suitability in road building. Increased attention has to be paid to aspects of sustainable road building in a holistic consideration. This includes improving the constructional durability and the increased use of recycling materials. The BASt undertakes research into the development of suitable testing and assessment procedures.
The input variables for a comprehensive maintenance management include the continuous monitoring and assessment of the condition of roads in relation to their "safety and driving comfort" performance characteristics and intrinsic value.
In this context, the priority is on the optimal use of the funds available. Against the background of limited resources, optimal results have been achieved in many areas within national, European and international research networks.