To extend the lifespan of pavements and highways, there are several sustainable pavement programs that have been adopted in different parts of the world. These programs contribute to the sustainability and optimization of pavement serviceability. Sustainable pavement programs also help to reduce costs in the long run.
While sustainable pavement programs have a lot of objectives, their overall objective is to establish an effective program that evaluates granular, concrete, asphalt and other materials as suitable road construction materials. The program also helps to increase the visibility, awareness and knowledge of the importance of all the phases of sustainable pavement programs. The programs improve livability and sustainable transportation. The programs also aim at increasing the use of sustainable technologies and practice to design, construct and maintain roads and pavements.
Every highway has its pavement design life. Engineers make this decision at the design stage of every highway or roadway. When a 20-year pavement design life is decided for a highway, it means that the road will take at least 20 years before any maintenance work is carried out on it. However, there are several sustainability programs to either lengthen the pavement design life or reinforce it. This is very important because it is not all highways that hit their pavement design life before they become due for a maintenance work.
For instance, some highways do not live up to their stipulated pavement design life for several reasons. Daily traffic is one of the factors considered when deliberating on the design life of a road. The daily traffic of a particular road can shoot up when some other alternative roads have some problems. So, upsurge in the daily traffic can lead to road not living up to its design life. This is part of what sustainable pavement programs tries to avert.
All sustainable pavement plans share six steps in common. These steps are acquisition of the right raw materials in the right quantities, processing of the materials, designing the pavement, implementation of the design by constructing, maintaining and preserving the pavements, using the road by motorists and the final step is end-of-life. However, some pundits argue that they are only five steps as end-of-life is more of a stage than step.
Part of these programs is conducting thorough material considerations. There are a few strategies for this. If you are making use of aggregates, it is important to reduce the amount of virgin aggregate you intend to use. The impact of virgin aggregate acquisition and processing should also be used. It is also important to reduce the impact of transporting aggregate.
If it is for asphalt, it is highly recommendable to reduce the virgin binder content and the energy consumed during production. Reduction of the energy consumed during production will definitely reduce the emissions generated too. It is important to consider compaction, polymers and improved designs in order to extend the service life of the roadway or highway. For continues availability and reduction of cost, it is better to use locally available materials.
Although there may several construction companies that render pavement construction services, their quality of services will definitely vary. So, choosing your pavement construction service provider needs to be done carefully to be able to hire the best.
It is important to invite as many construction companies as possible before selecting one. It is not a good idea to select the first company that you come across. Being a novice in road construction, all road engineering company representatives will definitely sound impressive to you. This does not mean they have the best offer. Even if a company has been referred to you, you still need to invite others. A construction company is very good does not mean that they offer the very best services.