To construct a durable pavement one must first understand what causes pavement failure. Pavement deterioration come from both environmental causes and by traffic wear and tear.
By wear and tear we are normally not talking about normal car traffic, but heavy loads. Most traffic wear from heavy loads occurs during the annual spring thaws when the base structure is the weakest. Garbage trucks, moving vans, buses and heavy forklifts are the primary offenders.
Traffic wear and tear is a design consideration that must be determined to construct a sound and durable pavement that will last. Local soil conditions play a huge part in determining soil strength. Yet too often we see “cookie cutter” specifications. Material considerations and construction methods also play a key role in constructing durable pavements.
Outside of traffic loading, environmental causes, in the form of solar, thermal and moisture are among the three worst enemies of pavement. The results are oxidation (drying of the binder), moisture penetration and cracking due to extreme temperature differentials.
Environmental causes are the maintenance concerns. Every pavement exposed to the environment needs maintenance to offset these life-quality thieves.
Our objective is constructing and maintaining pavements so that they will last. We have the means, methods and desire. Now we begin work on educating our customers.
Check back for more information on pavement maintenance issues and solutions.
Bituminous Roadways, Inc.