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Low rainfall leads to drought damaged pavements
Although you might not think it true, rainfall in the UK over the past couple of years has been unusually low, with 950.5mm in 2010 and 1166.2mm in 2011 compared with 1337.3mm in 2000 and 1283.7 in 20021. These recent drier years have resulted in drought damage to highways across the UK.
Drought damage can cause sometimes dangerous undulating vertical alignment, isolated humps, transverse/longitudinal cracks and general deterioration to pavements. Local authorities in the most affected areas of the UK such as the East of England, have called on the government to provide funding to help repair millions of pounds worth of damage to roads caused by the on-going drought conditions.
Drought conditions tend to be at their worst in areas which have high levels of clay, peat or glaciated chalk in the soil. The moisture content in the soil beneath the roads causes the pavements to fall and shrink, causing severe damage. Due to the amount of damage many authorities are facing, they are simply struggling to keep up with the pace of maintenance and mounting costs.
1data from www.metoffice.gov.uk
RSTA Code of Practice for Geosynthetics and Steel Meshes
This first edition of the Code of Practice has been produced by the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) Geosynthetics & Steel Meshes Committee to provide highway authorities, designers and principal contractors a thorough understanding of Geosynthetics and Steel Meshes, their use, laying techniques and applications.
Reference has been made to BS EN 15381:2008 Geotextiles and Geotextile Related Products – characteristics required for use in pavements and asphalt overlays. This EN sets the standard for manufacturers to produce Geosynthetics with CE marking.
The document references the work of the COST ACTION 348 group on Reinforcement of Pavements with Steel Meshes and Geosynthetics – this work included design modelling and design procedures.
This edition has been written and may be used with reference to the ADEPT document “Guidance on the use of paving fabrics and grids as asphalt reinforcement”. This edition also anticipates the following publication; Interim Advice Note Highway Agency – “The Approval Process for the Use of Geosynthetics in Pavements to Control Reflective Cracking‟.
This document has been peer reviewed by ADEPT Soils, Materials, Design and Specifications Committee.