Conceptual Maintenance and Rehabilitation Strategies for Bituminous Concrete PavementsDr. S.S.Seehra Former Director Grade Scientist & Head, Rigid Pavements Division, CRRI Chief Consultant–Pavement and Geotech, Span Consultant Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi
IntroductionHighway maintenance is an important activity of every highway department. The safety and convenience of traffic using the road are governed to a large extent by the quality of maintenance. The operation – economics of road transport is influenced by the degree of maintenance imparted to the road. The life of an asset can be preserved and prolonged if adequate maintenance measures are undertaken well in time. In developing countries, stage construction of pavements is often resorted to, with lesser pavement thickness and lower specifications than needed for a full design. The proper maintenance of roads, therefore, assumes greater significance in such situations.
This paper emphasizes the need for conceptual mechanism that will ensure the maintenance management procedures to be planned timely with adequate preventive maintenance interventions for effective sustainability of these roads. The financial resources at the command of a maintenance engineers are always short of demands, and it becomes necessary to utilize the same in the most judicious manner, by applying the best engineering practices and managerial skills. Poor road drainage and particularly failure to prevent ingress of water into the subgrade and into the lower pavement layers is considered to be the single main culprit of road failures in India. Maintenance of the drainage system is usually a relatively low cost operation, and one which can significantly reduce the need for far more costly pavement repairs and rehabilitation.
Road maintenance is an essential activity to rejuvenate roads in the safest condition, and to ensure that Pavement Management System (PMS) should also be an integral part of a larger overall Road Maintenance Management System (RMMS).
Need for MaintenanceA bituminous surface deteriorates with the passage of time owing to
- The action of traffic, especially of overloading of heavy commercial vehicles.
- Environmental factors, such as ingress of water, oxidation of the binder and loss of volatiles.
- Inadequacies in the initial design, specifications and construction standards of the bituminous layers; and
- Lack of adequate support from the lower pavement layers.