Concrete Roads for Better Tomorrow!
India was one of the earliest countries in the world to start building concrete roads. The first concrete road in India was built in Madras (Chennai) in 1914, which remained pot-hole free for a very long time despite the heavy rains in the region. The results encouraged engineers at that time to construct the Dehradun-Mussoorie
Highway that had perennial problems of roads getting damaged due to extreme weather conditions.
Concrete roads are best for cities,” says Sreedharan. (Member, State Planning Board, and principal adviser to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation)
India´s annual expenditure on the road sector is around Rs. 20,000-30,000 crore, 70 per cent of funds of which are spent on just maintaining the existing roads. This is a sheer wastage of the tax payers´ money when better and well established technologies for building concrete roads are readily available. It is imperative to look at the materials and the technologies that bring about speed in
construction, ensure long life of the structures, with minimal maintenance and meets the expectations of sustainable development.
India has experienced Concrete’s sustainability benefits in buildings: durability, low environmental impacts, fire safety, to name but a few. Concrete can provide both the surface layer of roads – which vehicles ride on directly – as well as the base layers. Concrete pavements have always been appreciated for aspects such as durability and low maintenance – and it’s not hard to grasp how this translates into clear sustainability benefits for today’s eco-conscious world.
Just like in buildings, the advantages of concrete in pavements span the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
Taking the social pillar, concrete contributes to fire safety in tunnels since it does not burn. In fact, fire services recommend the use of concrete pavements in road tunnels. Safety is also enhanced thanks to durability: concrete roads do not form ruts, reducing the risk of aquaplaning.
The economic benefits are clear, too. Concrete pavements have much lower life - cycle costs than the competition, thanks to their durability. What’s more, their bright color means savings in street lighting.
Long lifetime of concrete pavements is good for the environment. Even more impressively, concrete pavements can even save emissions of the vehicles riding over them!
So, the sustainability benefits of concrete are clear – and these are benefits that will be shared by citizens, governments and the environment alike. The future is bright with concrete roads.