This paper describes how some of the tertiary road networks in developing countries are not yet developed to standards that are appropriate for their vital transport role. Governments and international agencies are also committed to alleviating poverty, which occurs mainly in the rural areas of these countries. Improving rural transport infrastructure will be an essential component of this strategy. The cost of fully developing these networks will be substantial and the process is expected to extend over a time span measured in decades. With such a large commitment of resources in prospect, it will be essential that the policies, standards and arrangements for the development and maintenance of these networks make the most effective use of the available constrained resources. Rural communities require sustainable year-round access for their basic social and economic needs. This is a fundamental requirement to support governments' efforts to reduce rural poverty. For many years gravel/laterite has been promoted as the principal surface for providing road access for rural communities. Recent research confirms the particular problems of gravel/laterite surfacing in some regions. The paper presents the rationale for restricting the use of gravel/laterite as a road surfacing material in many circumstances. It also proposes a strategy for mainstreaming the application of more sustainable surface options for rural roads. The long term objective is the provision of year-round access to all rural communities at low cost and with manageable maintenance liabilities. Maintenance should be feasible with the realistic mobilization of local funding and resources and arranged with the involvement of local communities and enterprises. The rural communities should benefit from both the provision and use of the improved infrastructure. The paper is based on the work of research programs funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with cooperation of the Governments of Cambodia and Vietnam, and other research on the use of gravel/laterite and low cost surfaces.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Full conference proceedings available on CD-ROM.
  • Corporate Authors:

    World Road Association (PIARC)

    La Grande Arche, Paroi Nord, Niveau 5
    F-92055 La Defense Cedex,   France 
  • Authors:
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2003


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00987814
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2005 12:00AM