Gravel Wears Thin for Rural Communities

Many rural roads in developing countries are no more than compacted earth with a gravel surface layer. Although this surface is inexpensive, the roads are often dusty in dry weather, and muddy and impassable in wet weather. This article describes a project to investigate alternative road surfacing technologies in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The purpose was to devise a strategy to meet the need for all-weather roads in rural Southeast Asian communities. Local geology, climate and resources were considered in selecting pavement options. The research team considered such options as lime, cement, bitumen emulsions, clay bricks, bamboo-reinforced concrete and better use of gravel. On the basis of the initial investigation, the team is developing guidelines to give a range of options for surfacing that can be adapted to virtually any situation. Trial sections of road are currently being constructed to confirm the appropriateness of the guidelines. The research is being funded primarily by the UK's Department for International Development.


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  • Accession Number: 01003825
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 20 2005 7:13AM