Concrete Pavement Options for Resilient Low-Volume Roads in Pacific Island Countries

In pursuit of their economic and social development objectives, Pacific Island countries (PICs) desire to upgrade unpaved low-volume roads (LVRs) for the improvements in connectivity and quality of life associated with all-weather access. While the benefits are clear, the capital cost of conventional pavement technology and the recurrent cost of maintenance make it hard to justify the required investment in upgrading LVRs. Typical low-volume paved roads are surfaced with a bituminous chip seal or a thin asphalt concrete layer on processed aggregate base and subbase courses. Constructing such pavements in PICs is expensive, given the scarcity of aggregate of requisite quality; limited domestic road construction capacity; and scale diseconomies in the use of equipment, plant, and materials. Moreover, vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change necessitates consideration of more resilient paving alternatives. This extended abstract reports on a World Bank study aimed to stimulate the road engineering community in PICs to consider whether concrete pavements are a viable pavement type for LVRs, and if so, how to design, construct, and maintain such pavements. The study suggests that there is substantial potential for concrete pavements to be used for LVRs (fewer than 400 vehicles a day). Learning from pilot applications in Kiribati, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu (its Public Works Department recently built over 400 m of geocell roads with own account labor despite limited prior experience in road construction), it was shown that concrete pavements can be built in PICs with basic equipment and semiskilled staff. Four different types of concrete pavement were assessed; the assessments included the strengths, weaknesses, and operations and maintenance implications of each pavement type. Although prepared primarily for PICs, the study provides valuable insights and technical guidance for the application of concrete pavements for LVRs in other regions outside of the Pacific Islands. The World Bank study is expected to be published in 2019.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 130-136
  • Monograph Title: 12th International Conference on Low-Volume Roads
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01732255
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2020 5:48PM