ROAD SWELLS: CAUSES AND CURES

WHY DO ROADS BUILT OVER SHALES AND SOME OTHER SOILS IN DRY, RAINLESS REGIONS DEVELOP BUMPS AND SWELLS? RECENT WORK BY THE COLORADO HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON THE PROBLEM AND ALSO ON WAYS TO PREVENT SWELLS FROM EVER DEVELOPING. LOW-HUMIDITY AMBIENT AIR PENETRATES THE SHOULDERS OF THE ROAD AND FLOWS THROUGH ITS AGGREGATE SUBBASE, WHERE THE AIR TRANSFERS ITS WATER VAPOR TO THE PARTICLES; THIS WATER THEN TRICKLES INTO THE SUBGRADE, WHICH SWELLS, PUSHING UP THE ROAD SURFACE. THE KEY TO PREVENTING SWELLS FOREVER IS TO KEEP WATER OUT OF THE SWELLING-SOIL SUBGRADE. THIS MEANS PAVING ROADS WITH FULL-DEPTH ASPHALT OR ELSE LAYING A WATER-PROOF MEMBRANE BETWEEN THE ROAD SUBGRADE AND SUBBASE. /C.E./

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • pp 48-50, 3 FIG
  • Authors:
    • Brakey, B A
  • Publication Date: 1970-12

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00233161
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 8 1971 12:00AM