The Common Road Construction Methods
Even though we use roads daily we don’t make an effort to learn more about them. How the road was made, when it was made are some of the questions we forget to use. We will discuss about five common road construction methods.
1. Earth Road Method
This method is one of the most popular one in semi-rural and rural areas. As the name suggests the raw material used here is earth. With the help of excavators and rollers one can easily build the road. The negative side of such a method of road construction is that it has low bearing capacity therefore it cannot hold heavy traffic.
This kind of road is also prone to weather conditions, during the rainy season it is slippery and gets dusty during the summers.
If heavy vehicle uses the road then the road will get dents and gradually deteriorate. Soil-stabilization if used can make such a road long-lasting though it requires proper designing and implementation.
2. Gravel Road
This is better than an earth road. It is common in semi-rural, rural and semi-urban spaces. The process is the same as earth road only a layer of gravel is added after the earth is compacted.
The road does not change according to weather like the earth road. The method of construction is also easy along with low maintenance requirement.
The negative aspect is that it cannot hold heavy traffic. It also deteriorates with time.
3. Bituminous Road
The key ingredient in this method is bitumen. The flexibility is the reason why this method is preferred. It is made of four layers of bitumen.
The thickness of the layers gradually increases, with the bottom layer being the thickest one. The elasticity of the bituminous road helps it to acquire the shape of the load above it. Weather does not affect this road, in case of pot-hole formation it can be repaired.
Compared to earth and gravel road, constructing this road requires expertise and also time as it cannot be completed within a month.
4. Water Bound Macadam
The interlocking of broken aggregates which are bound with water and filler material where the base course is well compacted.
The compacted mass makes WBM method a high quality one. The aggregates impart strength leading to zero void. It is a cheaper method if compared to the bituminous method.
5. Concrete Road
Concrete road uses a mixture of Portland cement and asphalt. They are most widely used in urban areas. The edges are thicker than the central portion. Concrete roads are made to deal with heavy traffic. Weather does not affect the road.
It can last up to ten years as it has low maintenance issues. Its water proof nature also guarantees minimum potholes. The lack of elasticity of concrete roads leads to the deterioration of the road. In relation to cost the concrete road method is an expensive one.
When you make a choice as to which kind of road you want to construct choose according to the area and its requirements. Make sure you maintain the budget and proceed keeping in mind the terrain.
Before any kind of road construction conduct a soil test which is known as cbr testing or The California bearing ratio.