This paper discusses the highway engineering properties and uses of salt-laden materials for surfaced and unsurfaced roads in arid areas. The practical work described relates mainly to the "sabkhas" found in the salt flats of the Arabian peninsula; these consist essentially of a carbonate sand containing different proportions of evaporitic minerals. The performance of this material is compared with that of other saline materials in other arid areas of the world. Work on salt stabilisation, and on naturally salty materials, has shown that attempts to use standard laboratory tests to predict field behaviour have generally been unsuccessful. Selection of such materials for road construction is therefore normally based on field trials. The manner in which the evaporitic minerals contribute to the performance of the material in road construction is not fully understood, and, in order to find out more about their influence on the performance of sabkha road bases, A full-scale experimental road has been constructed to study the relative performance under traffic of three different sabkhas used as road bases under a thin bituminous surfacing. The road was constructed in 1971 and its performance during the first three years is summarised. Recent laboratory tests have suggested that some sabkhas may also be suitable for bituminous stabilisation. Engineers must be prepared to accept some degree of risk if the maximum advantage is to be taken of salt-laden soils. Suggestions are made to guide the use of engineering judgement in the design of low cost roads. (a). This paper was presented at a conference on low cost roads, Kuwait 25-28 November 1974. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)

    Wokingham, Berkshire  United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • Ellis, C I
    • Russell, RBC
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 33 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131447
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: PA 78/74 Conf Paper
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM