Chris Hill, Senior Editor, Equipment World Magazine
Using geogrids and geotextiles can extend roadway life and reduce overall costs, but only if designed and installed properly. This article from Better Roads advocates the importance of matching the correct material to the application and design in order to realize intended results.
A failed pavement isn’t a welcome sight, particularly during our current uncertain transportation funding. So it’s increasingly important that road builders use methods that can allow roads to be built faster, stronger and be made to last longer.
Using geosynthetic materials is one way of prolonging pavement. These come in two primary forms: a geogrid, which locks in aggregates and materials in the sub-base and base levels, or a geotextile, which is used closer to the surface pavement level and channels away water as it seeps through the pavement.
These uses have helped cut down the overall cost of projects in which they’re used, have saved contractors labor and time and have extended the life of pavements by a couple of years by some estimates. But geosynthetics aren’t a panacea, especially if they are not used and installed properly. Above all, matching the material to the application and design is the primary way of ensuring a good result.
Marco Isola cautions that geogrids don’t work every time. Isola, the regional technical project manager and paving and soil stabilization specialist for geosynthetics manufacturer Maccaferri, says it’s imperative that a geosynthetic is properly matched with the conditions in which it will be used, particularly in soil stabilization.