Road maintenance intends to preserve the safety of vehicular travel. One of its components is surface maintenance that keeps the roadway free from surface distress. Whether you prefer concrete or asphalt repair in Utah, the point is to get rid of raveling, bleeding, corrugations, potholes, ruts, and various kinds of cracks on roadways for safe travel.
It is an industry important to the world market and seeks cost-effective measures to preserve, develop, and prolong the life of roads while cutting down on cost. This need brought us to the question: When is road maintenance cost-effective? You need to understand the types of road maintenance first and which one leads to cost-efficient road repair measures.
Kinds of Road Maintenance
The three kinds of road maintenance are emergency, reactive, and preventive maintenance.
Emergency maintenance, as the term indicates, is necessary only when life-threatening acts of nature devastate roadways and waterways and they need immediate repairs. This makes emergency maintenance costly because you can only anticipate and prepare a contingency plan for an emergency.
Almost the same with emergency maintenance is the lack of planning of reactive maintenance. Since it deals with issues as they occur, the lack of proper planning makes it costly and less sustainable. The only difference is that reactive maintenance is a result of a lack of foresight and measures to ensure that road conditions are monitored and repairs are scheduled.
Preventive maintenance includes regular inspections, planned road-life-extension measures, and a schedule that keeps the road fit for safe travel. These intend to prolong the life of roadways despite their natural wear and tear. Preventive maintenance adequately plans everything before reactive maintenance is needed. Thus, proper allocation of budget and prevention of major repairs make cost-effective road maintenance. Therefore, any road repair technique done under preventive maintenance is considered cost-effective.
Cost-effective Road Maintenance Techniques
Cost-effective road maintenance techniques focus on the capacity building of roadways to last longer than their usual life span, eventually cutting down on cost for major repairs. According to a study conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation, there are road maintenance treatments that can extend the life of roadways.
The following treatments are considered cost-effective for their capacity to extend roadway life from three to five years:
- Patching. Surface patching is a necessity for flexible pavements within its service life. It requires resource availability and standard application. Its objective is to retain surface smoothness for a long time. Patching materials may cost much, but a high-quality patch cut costs long-term.
- Dig-out Patches. Dig-outs are also known as patching with a base repair. It intends to make permanent repairs by removing defective and unstable surfacing materials. The digging ends when a stable base is reached. The excavation will then be prepared for patching.
- Blade Patching. This is also known as Grader patching. The patch is laid using two road graders facing each other. This ensures that the mix doesn’t get cold before laying the patch. It also offers a chance to train inexperienced grader operators.
- Crack Sealing. Crack sealing should be done as a part of an overall project because of the significant costs involved in labor and materials. However, minor crack sealing can also extend the usefulness of roadways when an overlay project is not yet planned.
These are just some of the techniques that can ensure cost-effective and preventive road maintenance measures. Quality materials and expert implementation are keys to cost-efficiency since the longer roadways last, the lower the cost.