Flexible Pavements

Introduction

For many years, researchers have been working on development of latest equipment for pavement construction to obtain better and sustainable surface. Significant advancements have been made in this direction and many devices are now available for laying and compaction of pavement that have proved to be very effective in improving the surface finished quality of roads.

Roughness is the key indicator of surface quality of pavement which is prime concern for the road-users who judge it with regard to smoothness or riding comfort, they derive while traveling on their vehicles.

Development, maintenance, and management of roads, particularly the National and State Highways network is going through a big transformation in the country, in terms of huge capital investment and capacity augmentation. A good number of road sections have turned into high-speed high density corridors with average running speed of commercial vehicles being of about 60-80 km/h.

Functional need, characterized by geometric features and surface characteristics are of paramount importance in esuring road-user, comfort and safety. Study of Road User Cost Study (RUCS) indicates that for every 1000 mm/km increase in roughness index, there is a significant reduction in vehicle's speed and tyre life of a commercial vehicle and significant increase in fuel consumption. Therefore, the riding quality/roughness of pavement surface is one of the main factors which needs immediate attention of field engineers and planners.

NBM&CW September 2016