So that the necessary organizational and financial planning arrangements can be taken care of in an optimum way, and to ensure the most rational execution and supervision of the maintenance work in hand, it is best to have all relevant data on the conditions of the existing road network readily available in a data bank. A file card is shown in Fig. 3.21. At the local-authority level, the data can be integrated into existing information systems such as LIS or GIS. For cooperatives that are not able to call on electronic data processing facilities, card file systems remain a practical solution.
Maintenance tasks can be subdivided into the following categories:
• Inspection. Routine visual inspections (on foot by difficult road conditions) are the best way to keep check on the condition of a road, and are the main task of the surveyor in charge. Such inspections are especially important during and after periods of snowfall and bad weather, to make sure the drainage systems are working properly. The aim is to discover damage and its causes at as early a stage as possible, in order to draw the necessary conclusions and take remedial action in good time. Note, however, that visual inspection alone is not always a sufficient basis on which to make a clear-cut decision as to the best way to deal with damage of a given type and extent, that is, whether periodic maintenance will be enough to guarantee the necessary practicability, or whether extensive reinforcement is required. Where there is doubt, measurements of the road's bearing capability can help to clarify matters. Well-grounded experimental values for this assessment can be obtained with the help of the Benkelman beam deflection measurements. These should reveal whether or not the bearing capacity values measured (see deflection in Fig. 3.22) are still in a permissible range.
• Cleaning. Road cleaning work, such as ensuring that water drainage systems are not blocked, cleaning shafts, removing harmful contaminants (especially after agricultural activities), and eliminating unwanted vegetation, should be carried out during tours of inspection.
File card: maintenance
Person in charge
Road description: Grosser Runs No. 21.11
Year of construction: Cost of construction: Length of road (m): Vehicle track width (m): Longitudinal gradient (%): Carriage way: Culverts: Drainage: Signaling: allowed (exceptions indicated) Snow clearance: Special features:
Type of road:
Traffic (std. single-axle load):
Access to gravel pit Feeder 50,000
Wearing course: Bearing course:
6 cm HMT Melio
45 cm gravel 2
15 cm stabilization with lime -6
SN strength index Subsoil/foundation
Soil type (USCS): Clay with great plasticity (CH)
Bearing capacity CBR: 1.6%_
Road condition Practicability
Date good sufficient insufficient
Figure 3.21. Example of file card. Source: .
• Simple repair work. For this work, the surveyor usually will require additional equipment and construction materials. Attention should be paid above all to the proper functioning of the drainage installations because unchecked water flows present the greatest danger of rapidly spreading destruction. Care also should be taken to remedy any cracks and potholes found in the road surfaces.
• Comprehensive repairs and work of renovation. This is also an essential part of
Total traffic W in standard axle weight
Total traffic W in standard axle weight
Figure 3.22. Permissible deflection in relation to the traffic factor W and the regional factor R. Source: .
periodic maintenance, calling for a certain amount of planning and for the help of specialists. Such repairs also require a considerable investment in both time and money.
In addition to these active measures, certain passive measures, which can also help to prevent or limit damage, often are overlooked. These include general or time-limited restrictions on traffic or on certain axle weights (e.g., during periods of frost or humidity). These should always be seen as companion measures, for use when the amount of traffic and the burden it causes begins to go out of control. Such cost-free measures help to protect against excessive stress, thereby lowering the amount that needs to be budgeted for maintenance, while increasing the service life of the roads.
General restrictions on road use also can be in the interest of nature and the environment, and indeed of the users. When minor rural roads built to make life easier for agricultural and forestry workers are overrun by weekend tourists, they are far less able to fulfill their original purpose. Nature and landscape protection groups tend to look on such developments with suspicion. General restrictions therefore should be discussed with those concerned including the authorities at the earliest possible project stage. Otherwise, they will be difficult to implement.
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