Design and construction of low-cost, low-volume roads in Australia

Bullen, Frank (2003) Design and construction of low-cost, low-volume roads in Australia. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1819 . pp. 173-179. ISSN 0361-1981


Inexpensive roads constructed by using local knowledge of material behavior have been shown to be capable of meeting rural traffic requirements without the need for importation of hard and expensive quarried crushed rock or gravel. In Australia, low-cost, low-volume roads are typically rural roads constructed in a broad range of operating environments, varying from arid to tropical. The areas that contain the longest length of rural roads, however, are arid or semiarid and are often subjected to periods with low levels of precipitation and high levels of evaporation, frequently followed by periods of intense rainfall. Locally available materials for road making may not meet the usual
standard road authority requirements for high-quality aggregate and are thus termed “marginal,” “nonstandard,” or even “inferior.” Because these materials are a resource that cannot be ignored, locally derived specifications are formulated for specific materials to allow more efficient
expansion and maintenance of road networks in remote rural
areas. Many of the subgrades within arid and semiarid areas are sensitive to water ingress and are termed “cracking” or “expansive” clays. The combination of hostile environment, poor subgrade, and marginal construction aggregates means that the engineer must take an entrepreneurial approach when developing the rural road infrastructure. Some of the methods used to develop and maintain a highway infrastructure for remote rural areas in Australia are outlined, with the Western Queensland region used for illustrative purposes.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version not held. Paper No. LVR8-1116
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2010 05:31
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2013 04:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: highway operations; capacity; traffic control; rural road; country roads
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400512 Transport engineering
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4106 Soil sciences > 410699 Soil sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 88 Transport > 8801 Ground Transport > 880106 Road Infrastructure and Networks
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