When you hear the word road failure, the first thing that comes to your mind has to be poor maintenance. The present road failures are mostly seen in Africa due to bad infrastructural development on the continent. Such failures has result to local communities having challenges transporting their goods as well as providing service to customers. This is why maintenance of road failure is vital for any developing countries.
In my view, maintenance is the best practise for road because it take away constrain mobility, significantly raise vehicle operating costs, increase accident rates and their associated human and property costs, and aggravate isolation, poverty, poor health, and illiteracy in rural communities.
Meanwhile, this article will educate you on how to prevent road failure, essentially outlining some vital aspect that can help prevent road failures.
ROAD AS AN IMPORTANT PUBLIC ASSET
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved. Roadway is the ability of its pavement to sustainably deliver safe, comfortable and timely travels. Roads open up more areas and stimulate economic and social development which makes it a public asset.
Meanwhile, a road is said to have failed when it becomes unable to meet acceptable levels of serviceability due to the weakness or instability of any layer of its cross section.
TYPES OF ROAD FAILURE AND ITS CAUSES
In some communities in Africa, their roads are in deplorable conditions. These are a result of a combination of factors affecting the built highway. However, roads fail differently and have varying root cause. Below, I have listed various road failures and their accompanying root cause.
Relative movement of layer material
Differential volume changes in layer material
Differential volume change in layer material
Differential settlement in layer material
Badly retained Slopes
Low shear coefficients of layer materials
Loose bond between surface course and underlying layer
Lack of or inadequate prime/tack coat between layer materials.
Poor surface course mix design
Weakened layer materials on wheel path.
Sustained traffic behaviour
Unstable surface course material
Excessive bituminous binder in pavement surface course.
SOME CAUSES OF ROAD FAILURE
- Poor Engineering Design
- Poor Construction Methods/Technique
- Heavy Traffic; Overloading and Poor road-use culture
- Poor Maintenance Culture
- Socioeconomic Factors; Poor Use (Abuse) of Road Facilities
- Poor Construction Materials
- Lack of public Awareness Culture
EFFECTS OF ROAD FAILURE
- Heavy Traffic Crashes
- High Vehicle Operating Cost
- Increased Cost of Goods and Services
- Negative GDP
- High Travel Times (Congestions & Downtimes)
- High Medical Cost (of Trauma)
- Improbable Cost of Fatality
- Deterred Foreign Investment
- Negative Environmental Impact
- High Carbon Emissions
HOW TO PREVENT ROAD FAILURE
- Improved Engineering Design
- Reviewed Codes of Practice. Standards & Specification
- Improved procurement process for road construction and management
- Increased and Continuous Capacity Building within the industry
- Improved Road User Behavior (through Engagement and Enforcement)
- Development and Institutionalization of Improved Axle- Load Regimes
- Coordinated Investment in other modes of transport – Rail/Sea/UMT
- Upgrade road management institution for the attraction of improved funding
Before a road can truly be tag ”Road Failure Free”, there are measures that need to be put in place. Such measures include, incorporating maintenance into project and sector strategies and have road agencies engage with ministries of finance.
The most important question is ” Can we actually prevent road failure and if yes, How do we start from the local slums because road failure occurs often in such area especially in developing nations”
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