Maintenance Aspects of Asphalt Pavements for Roads and Highways

    Dr. S.S. Seehra, Advisor (Technical), LEA Associates South Asia Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, (Former Director - Grade Scientist, CSIR- Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi)


    In General, Maintenance of Roads and Highways is an important activity to be carried out by Departments of Rural Roads, Roads & Highways. The life of an asset can be preserved and prolonged, if adequate maintenance measures are undertaken well in time. Proper maintenance treatments at appropriate times can greatly delay the deterioration and reduce the overall maintenance cost. If timely maintenance is not provided then reconstruction will become inevitable. Poor road drainage and ingress of water into the subgrade and lower pavement layers, and overloading are considered to be the main culprits of road failures. Maintenance of the shoulders is often neglected, which leads to failure of road. The conceptual mechanism that will ensure the timely maintenance management procedures with adequate preventive maintenance is most important.

    Some Typical Distresses of Asphalt Pavements

    Under continued trafficking, asphalt pavements tend to lose their anti-skid properties, as the texture wears out and the stone aggregates get polished, bleeding or fatting up of the road surface with excess bitumen.

    Simple maintenance procedures for correcting more common surface distresses in asphalt pavements:
    1. Cracking
    2. Potholes
    3. Ravelling
    4. Rutting



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