Building a Better, Stronger Road

We’re approaching springtime in the Northeast. The roads have been beaten and bruised with the (drastic) fluctuation in temperatures. Runoff and flooding from snowmelt increases soil saturation. If this saturated soil happens to be in the base or subgrade under the pavement then big problems occur. The result is an endless winding gauntlet of frost heaves, potholes, and cracked / uneven driving surfaces. It’s nothing new, but it is still, for whatever reason, a “newer concept” to tackle the issue at the source and attempt to prevent such drastic and costly repairs as the seasons change.

Roads are directly affected by the base plot of land they’re built on. They’re also affected by direct environmental factors such as nearby runoff and drainage factors. Therefore, and it’s likely obvious, the way you construct and maintain the terrain that immediately abuts any piece of a road is imperative. You can’t just flatten the surface and pour the asphalt. The soil should be made from aggregate of the proper gradation and it should be derived from crushed rock.

Road Building vs. Paving

Let’s start at the beginning. The main issue at hand is that most people simply look at the pavement and think “ROAD,” because that’s what shows. That’s “what’s on the surface.” With this attitude the end result is that they end up relying too much on – the pavement – without considering the other more important aspects that should go into any paving project. A road is not pavement. A road is a system of which the pavement is the top layer (much like the roof on a house is the top of a complete system of foundation, frame, walls, roof, etc. that make up the whole). See where we’re at with our thinking here?

In order to provide a pavement (which is what GES has created with our Polymer Pavement System), with good functionality along with a good lifespan, we need first to ensure a good base and good drainage, thus not relying on the pavement for strength but rather for consolidation of the surface aggregate such that there is no mud in the wet season and no dust in the dry season…

If the surface to be paved requires better load bearing, this can be accomplished using geosynthetics. The side benefit of the geosynthetics is better drainage as well. Have questions about geosynthetics? Call us. We have a warehouse full of answers.

When it comes to road building versus simply paving, it’s possible to have 2 – 3 inches of pavement (polymer, asphalt or concrete), which will support nearly any load if the base and subgrade are stable and well drained. It’s not feasible to rely on 4 inches or more to support any load if the base and or subgrade are poorly stabilized or poorly drained.

With Global Environmental Solutions, you’re taking a giant leap towards constructing roadways that are created with a correct, proactive approach the first time. We proved products that serve roads that are built to last.

And again, remember, a road is more than just a surface you drive on, and said strip of pavement is potentially compromised by any surrounding ecological variable. Look around. Is there a parcel of land running downward towards the roadway? If yes, that’s direct route for runoff and erosion to occur – eating away at your road and creating potentially disastrous driving conditions.

Products for consideration:

Contact GES today. We’ll help you design, plan, and construct the best road you can build, at a cost you can appreciate. Not only are you saving upfront, but on the backend as well. Forward thinking is the most sensible thinking. And thinking ahead leads to the road best travelled. (Or is it, best road travelled? – Pun fully intended…)