In recent times, one of the ways Nigerians rate governance is the ability of the government in power to provide motor-able roads for its citizens. Other infrastructural developments like provision of water boreholes, school, hospitals and power are all yardstick used by electorates to choose whether the government deserves a second term.
Road construction project takes a chunk of the Ministry for Works annual budget. Despite the amount spent on road construction, most of the roads are either not completed or get damaged again due to several factors. One can count a few roads in Nigeria that have remained under construction for decades.
In the course of repairing and maintenance of some roads, we discovered some shortfall from the road construction itself and this shortfall accounts for the reason why the road didn’t last.
One of the mistakes made by contractors can be found it the process of preparing the soil for road construction, in technical terms; we call it the soil stabilization process.
Soil stabilization is the method of improving soil properties. It is very important to achieve the required strength for the soil, especially in road construction projects. An unstable road base can lead to the complete erosion of the road.
ROAD CONSTRUCTION: How Nigerian Roads Can Be Better Through Soil Stabilization
Soil that has been stabilized on Nigerian roads will have a vastly improved weight bearing capability. Also it will be significantly more resistant to being damaged by water, and other inclement conditions.
1.) Soil Stabilization is Technically Beneficial
Slaked lime as a soil stabilization mix is effective in treating heavy plastic clayey soils. If you have noticed clayey soil typifies the Nigerian soil.
Treatment with lime and/or cement or cementitious road binders allows production and use of homogeneous, long-lasting and stable materials with mechanical characteristics comparable to those of graded aggregate with cementitious binders.
In addition, these materials are characterized by great stiffness and excellent fatigue strength; which is a critical factor when constructing a road that is expected to experience a lot of traffic.
The typical Nigerian road must have a high carrying capacity due to some obvious reasons; one of which is the high number of vehicles and commuters, especially in the urban areas.
A well-stabilized soil shows good performance in hot weather, with no deformation or rutting. And good performance on exposure to freeze-thaw cycles due to the stiffness of the material and the slab-side effect.
2.) Soil Stabilization Are Economically Beneficial
Soil stabilization reduced the transport of aggregates and of cuts which contributes to preserving the road network.
Aggregate is a broad category of coarse to medium-grained particulate material used in construction. It includes sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic aggregates.
These are very economical techniques, especially when the project has a shorter duration of the works – compared to a conventional solution, the savings can be up to 30%.
You can usually save significant sums of money by soil stabilization compared to the traditional “dig and dump” method. Dig and dump incurs the cost of vehicle movement, and buying aggregates (sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic).
Concrete can be laid directly onto stabilised soil. Savings in granular subbase, concrete and bituminous materials are all possible.
3.) Soil Stabilization Reduces Time of Construction
Soil stabilization can often shorten the time taken to complete a project by minimizing the site preparation time and reducing tipping or import. The process also enables the wet ground to be dried and strengthened for immediate use.
Part of the reasons why the pace of work at some road construction site is slow is logistics; instead of spending so much time and money on transporting aggregates, you can simply improve the soil itself which is what soil stabilization means in the first place.
4.) Soil Stabilization Keeps the Roads Dry
As we have highlighted earlier, lime is, without doubt, the most effective way of drying a wet site. The addition of quicklime instantly dries up wet soils and allows extended working even in wet conditions.
Thanks to the climate change, the amount of rainfall is becoming more difficult to measure. With Soil stabilization, contractors won’t need to leave a site because it’s the raining season!
Roads that carry heavy-duty vehicles are ideal for the soil stabilization, perhaps one of the reasons why most roads get worse when it starts to rain in Nigeria.
5.) Low Environmental Impact
Before the commencement of a road project, the community where the road is being constructed is usually informed. This is to prepare them for some inconvenience they may face, one of which is traffic congestion.
Imagine scrapping off 40 trucks loads of soil and bringing in 40 trucks of imported material. The truth about soil stabilization is that One 30 tone load of binder can eliminate these 80 vehicle movements.
What these mean are less cost, less congestion and no furious citizens. Talk about “killing two birds with one stone with this solution” – an environmental solution with many benefits.
6.) Soil Waste Control
Road construction should not cause a total shut down. The reason is this; when you have the soil stabilized there is no need to import new material when the soil on site can be used after a simple treatment process.
Costly and time-consuming importation of new material and generation of large quantities of waste is therefore eliminated.
Having read through this, trust you have some insight into what impact soil stabilization have on road construction. Soil stabilization techniques would result in substantial a reduction in consumption of expensive road construction material and we would have better roads.
At Sapient Vendor, our road construction services help you to understand the behaviour of road materials in relation to expected loads and deterioration mechanisms.
We offer engineering services for all roadway projects including interstate facilities, offering an unparalleled level of diversity and experience in Construction and Maintenance of Road Infrastructure. Contact us today.
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