Application of Geosynthetics on Low-Volume Roads

There are numerous cost-effective applications for geosynthetics on low-volume roads, yet geosynthetic materials use on these roads is typically underutilized. The USDA Forest Service has been using geosynthetics on its low-volume roads for the past 40 years in applications of separation, reinforcement, drainage, filtration, and others. The objective of this paper is to document many of these uses on low-volume forest roads, both traditional and unique, and discuss the many cost-effective advantages of geosynthetic use. Uses in low-volume road applications are similar to those used in many highway projects, and have many of the same benefits and cost savings, yet utilization is variable and inconsistent. In many developing countries, engineers and technicians designing rural roads have barely heard of geosynthetic materials, much less taken advantage of their benefits. Low volume roads make up roughly two thirds of all the roads worldwide, or roughly 30 million kilometers of roads, yet they do not receive the attention and appropriate technologies deserving of such a major amount of infrastructure. Significant cost savings and improvements in design and ultimately roadway performance can be realized with the increased use of geosynthetics in underdrains, for subgrade reinforcement, in geosynthetically reinforced retaining structures, and in improved erosion control. Materials used include geotextiles, geogrids, geocells, geofoam, netting, and other geosynthetics.


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  • Accession Number: 01611883
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 2 2016 9:01AM