Meeting the Challenges in Managing Low Volume Roads (LRVs)

ABSTRACT

With the passage of time, there have been increased demands in the traffic departments. These demands are not limited to just a few states, but it is a demand and issue as well around the globe. All through the globe, reduced levels of time as well as costs for travelling, in addition to the safety of the increased level represents the core deliverables from the road systems that are well-engineered. Various research studies in this context have laid emphasis with respect to sustainability, material technologies, information services, and traffic management with respect to the standards for highway engineering for the purposes of meeting the increasing levels of demand within this sector. When it comes to traffic management and other related aspects of transport departments, roads being engineered for travelling and handling the traffic plays an important role. Engineering of the roads includes the deliverables which are the core of traffic management and plays a key role in the traffic departments. The focus around the globe includes the reduced amount of cost as well as time for the travelling with proper safety rules to provide the deserving and possible safety through the roads which are well engineered or are to be engineered.

There are different research studies available which identify different purpose related to the increased demand in the transport department and traffic management, the technology of the materials being used or to be used in accordance with the standards of highway engineering and traffic management. The studies have laid emphasis on sustainability as well. In fact, the studies carried out in regard to the transport department and traffic management laid emphasis on the identification of the challenges that are present and to be met. Although, when it comes to providing importance or having a primary objective, different research studies helped in identifying through the context they include is that the primary focus and preference should be on the spending or investments must be on the types of roads. By the types of roads, means the different volume of roads which laid emphasis on the higher volume roads (HVR) and some specific requirements to be met for the low volume roads (LVR).

Even though the primary emphasis concerning the investments in mass infrastructure shall be towards higher volume roads, the specific focus shall be required to be laid over LVRs. The primary aim of undertaking this study is to identify and meet the challenges concerning the management of LVRs. Not only this, but the study also contributes to identifying and dealing with the issues that occur in meeting the challenges and development of the criteria for the selection of the LVRs. A proper literature review and methodology is carried out in order to provide a possible conclusion on the basis of the results being found.

Among the selection criteria for the LVRs, the requirement of the proper and effective resources and the budget for the project is the aim of the study as well. The specific objectives of this study shall be to develop the selection criteria for LRVs, identify LRVs and undertake a detailed assessment in terms of issues in meeting the challenges, project budget, resource requirements, and make a suitable conclusion based on the comparative assessments. This research report presents the findings, analysis and results by using exploratory study and case reviews.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1        RESEARCH BACKGROUND

This paper focuses broadly on different aspects that are related to the road system or road network. This road system is of the Low Volume Roads (LVRs). When it comes to the LVRs, there is a different kind of challenges and issues present in the development and construction of the LVRs. Not only this but also the constructed LVRs faces various challenges and issues due to some criteria’s which are unmet or not completely focused in during planning, developing and construction phases. This leads to significant challenges. In order to complete or meet the challenges, there are some issues present as well. Due to the presence of these issues, the management of low volume roads becomes more challenging. Therefore, this paper sheds light on the issues that are present in meeting the challenges in managing the low volume roads. However, as there are different aspects linked to the low volume roads, therefore there are different challenges and issues that are linked to the aspects and are of different nature as well. Besides the challenges, the significance of the low volume roads is also identified and described in the paper and how its significance in its self is a growing challenge is also discussed. Therefore, this paper is focused on the issues in meeting the challenges in managing the low volume roads or LVRs, and to review the findings based on the evaluation of the literature review and the data collected by the methodology used.

As there are various researches about the low volume roads and related aspects to them such as their sustainability, traffic management, technological materials in the low volume roads. All this in order to meet the increasing demand in the traffic management department or transport department. Due to the increased demand, there are different aspects in which the demand rises as well such as the information services that are present and being used in the low volume roads management and sustainability system. This is the reason that there are various researches which focuses on different aspects of the low volume roads and the challenges to be met as well as the issues that are present in meeting the challenges. In short, there is an increasing demand in almost every aspect related to the low volume roads and traffic management as discussed above (Organization, 2015).

When it comes to the roads that are well engineered, they fulfil the basic requirements and meet the challenges. Not only this, well-engineered roads reflects and provides deliverable which is considered as the core ones. These core deliverables include affective costs or reduced costs, reduced amount of time in transportation as it can only happen if the roads are manufactured properly with the required and right resources. Or in other words, are well engineered which lead to a reduced level of timing in transportation and will also provide safety. These are the core deliverables which are identified around the globe in the aspect of roads that are well engineered (Chandak, Patil, Tapase, Attar, & Sayyed, 2018). This clearly identifies the core deliverables of the roads that are well engineered which mean they must include the specific characteristics and should be beneficial for people in the discussed areas of transport. In short, all through the globe, reduced levels of time as well as costs for travelling, in addition to the increased levels safety represents the core deliverables from the road systems that are well-engineered (Chandak et al. 2018, 45-52; Hafez et al. 2018, 5; Saride et al. 2015, 2). If talking about the benefits of the LVRs, there are different aspects in which LVRs plays a significant role when it comes to public services availability and accessibility. LVRs provides public access to different services. Different services are of different nature as some of them are based on daily life needs such as materials deliverance, education and etc. While others are emergency based such as healthcare in any circumstances, it is required in an emergency situation or other purposes. Other services and availability includes entertainment facility, outdoor recreation and civic. LVRs not only provides access to the availability of the services but also plays a key role in the development of the economy in developing countries. While on another hand, LVRs connects the markets and providers of the materials or raw materials, or in other words, it connects remote communities (Dawson, Kolisoja, Vuorimies, & Saarenketo, 2007). Various research studies in this context have laid emphasis with respect to sustainability, material technologies, information services, and traffic management with respect to the standards for highway engineering for the purposes of meeting the increasing levels of demand within this sector (Chandak et al. 2018, 45-52; Hafez et al. 2018, 5; Saride et al. 2015, 2). This increasing demand can be due to the increased use of the LVRs in daily life as mentioned already that it connects different communities and areas as well as play its role in the economic aspect as well.

Even though the primary emphasis concerning the investments in mass infrastructure shall be towards higher volume roads, the specific focus shall be required to be laid over low volume roads (“LVRs”). Even though the traffic-related volumes within the LRVs seem to be relatively lower in comparison with intercity highways, they have potential for limiting in a severe manner the overall abilities concerning the road maintainer / owners for obtaining significant levels of income by way of taxation or else tolls, and further vehicle loads most often necessitate reasonable levels of higher performance abilities (Chandak et al. 2018, 45-52; Hafez et al. 2018, 5; Saride et al. 2015, 2). When it comes to the increasing demand in the transportation system or more clearly in the low volume roads, there are different reasons for it, one of the essential or major reason is that when it comes to the LVRs, it plays an important role in transportation. LVRs plays an important role in providing and availing resources and materials from different mills and factories, forests or other raw materials to the required destination. Similarly, a recent study has helped in identifying the significance of the LVRs and therefore the need for investment in them. LVRs essentially offer a primary form of linkage towards highway transportation systems. They also offer linkage from residence as well as farms / rural areas to that of markets, availing raw materials sourced from forests, as well as from mines to that of factories / mills (Chandak et al. 2018, 45-52; Hafez et al. 2018, 5; Saride et al. 2015, 2).

. It can be said that LVRs are the most required road services in daily life as well as marketing and economic perspectives. Not only this, but LVRs also work as a link or pathway between rural areas, farms and residential areas and connects them to highways. These are the reasons that there are increased demands in LVRs and traffic management. They also offer public accessibility towards essential health care, civic, education, as well as outdoor recreation / entertainment facilities. LVRs links between the raw materials to markets represent a critical boost to the economies at both the local as well as national

On account of these various different reasons stated, it shall become highly critical for investing within the research that leads to the increases in the abilities for sustaining as well as improving these roads in the manner that is economic as well as optimal (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183).

When it comes to the type of pavements or volume of pavements of LVRs, there are two types which are sealed and unsealed. Both encompass the greater length of the road networks around the globe specific in the nations who are still in the developmental states. Therefore, it requires critical attention and focuses on being overlooked. In order to have an effective design in the context of the pavement of LVRs as discussed. It is necessary to focus on different aspects and standard methods in the development of LVRs in order to have a structure which will lead to sustainability. The designing methods need to be effective to an extent which can prevent the permanent form of deformation or rutting of the LVR, and overall sustainability can be achieved (Lazzarini, 2016).

In the context of LRVs, pavements both sealed as well as unsealed in general encompass greater length in road networks all through the globe, specifically across the developing nations. Hence the same requires critical focus and attention (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183). In this context, it needs to be highlighted / emphasized that techniques that are involved in designing an LVR can be stated to consistently differ from those which are used across other domains in highway engineering (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183). On the basis of the widely emphasised notion that conventional standards of highway engineering shall not be suitable in case of LVRs, specific methods relevant to LVRs need to be focussed upon.

Some of the studies in this context highlight that employment of the standard methodologies to design the LVRs could lead to structures with substantial, as well as rather unwarranted sections which lead to fewer kilometres of LVR pavements to be constructed in consequence cause unwanted effects over the local economies. The methodology for designing the specific forms of the pavement structures need to be effective and accurate to the sufficient extent such that key cause for distress with respect to LVR, that is, permanent form of rutting / deformation could be prevented and overall levels of the serviceability can be sustained (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al.

2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183). On account of the same, one amongst the core parameters that has to be carefully reviewed / considered while undertaking the assessments of the design methods pertaining to LVR design lies in the competence for predicting relevant layers concerning permanent forms of deformation development (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183).

Most of the prevailing guides to the pavement designing shall assume that permanent form of deformation shall be restricted just with sub-grade soil foundations and therein neglecting contributions from aspects like unbound granular materials (“UGM”) arising from base layers within the overall rutting (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183). Irrespective of the same, studies within the real scale contexts have illustrated that UGM plays a very critical role in the context of rutting processes as well as affiliated needs, hence, for being integrated within the pavement designing / assessment guide. In the recent times, various studies have undertaken research with an aim to understand the unbound behaviour of UGM, the affiliated properties as well as the performances with respect to the permanent form of deformation (Yu 2015; Beale et al.2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183).

There are various studies that are carried out in order to identify the various challenges that occur or are occurring in one of the complex areas. These studies were able to achieve more and more due to the nature of their contexts and advanced a lot in the field. While on the other hand, some of the studies overcame the limitation formed by other research studies and advanced in a unique approach. These studies included different perspectives regarding the department and LVRs. Besides the identified aspects in the studies, there are different areas which require extreme focus and to cover the gaps through research that are still present (Beale, Troyer, Chock, Hopwood, & McNeill, 2018). The studies in this context have attained great levels of advances within this domain irrespective of the various challenges that are involved with respect to undertaking study over this complex area. Irrespective of the same, some studies have managed in going further to approaching this topic from varied perspectives, and despite the same there seem to be many open areas that require critical focus and further research (Yu 2015; Beale et al. 2018, 3; Rolt et al. 2017, 4; Praticò et al. 2015, 183).

As it is already discussed that LVRs plays an important role and connects different regions or areas with one another as well as work as a linkage in the highway roads. These areas included industrial sites and forests as well. Based on these roles that LVRs plays, it contributes to the economic aspect as well. Therefore, it is necessary to overlook the changes and improvements that are required for the LVRs. As there are some important reasons which are already stated, it is highly recommended to focus and invest in the research and almost every aspect related to the development and improvement of LVRs to help in the sustainability of LVRs system. However, the economic aspect must be kept in focus to adopt the process or method which is economically beneficial (Yu, Jahren, & Williams, Development of holding strategies for deteriorated low-volume roads: introduction to test sections in Iowa, 2015).

2.2           RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

On the basis of the background and the preliminary review was undertaken, the primary aim of undertaking this study is to identify and meet the challenges concerning the management of LVRs.

The specific objectives of this study shall be to –

  • Develop the selection criteria for LRVs
  • Identify LRVs
  • Undertake detailed assessment in terms of issues in meeting the challenges, project budget, resource requirements
    • Make a suitable conclusion based on comparative assessments.

CHAPTER 2: BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1           BACKGROUND

When it comes to the projects that are undertaken in order to fulfil the requirements of the development and sustainability of the LVRs, the strategy of such nature requires the aim in which an excessive amount of resources or employment of the resources in abundant is required. Not only this but the overall utilization of the resources which are concerned with the plants which are intermediate and are better or more suitable for the usage of the methodologies of the labours for the construction of the LVRs. This in a way if compared to the construction plants which are heavier than the methodologies or the ones that are described. Besides the strategy or kind of strategy to be employed or is employed for the construction methods. The objectives of all individuals or parties that are involved in the construction shall include the effective utilization of all the resources, or in other words, the objective for everyone should include the best possible way of the utilization of the resources being employed in a more effective and optimal way. Such acts, processes or procedures must be conducted in accordance with the criteria being set or to meet the overall standards (Faiz, Wang, & Bennett, 2012).

The overall construction concerning the LVRs refers to the practical form of manifestation concerning the earlier planning, relevant investigations as well as the design phases concerning the overall project cycle (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). In the said phase, relevant road agencies are exposed to the challenges for undertaking the adoption of the construction strategy which shall be suitable with respect to requirements concerning the specific project, in addition to social, technical, and economic environments that prevail in the context of which relevant project shall be undertaken (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241).

The strategy of this nature, to take an example, shall be undertaken with an aim to make maximum employment of resources that are relatively abundant in terms of the labour needed, local level materials, as well as overall utilization concerning the intermediate plants which are better suited for the usage concerning the labour-based methodologies of the construction of LVR as compared to the heavier construction plants (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). Whatever the strategy to construct has been employed, the overall objectives concerning all of the parties with respect to contract shall lie in making optimal utilization of the resources that are available for meeting the overall standards prescribed with respect to highly efficient as well as effective approaches (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015,

238-241.

There are some significant impacts on different aspects concerned with the maintenance cost of the roads. This can be the result of the errors present in the construction process in different manners. Therefore, there should be a quality system or a system for the quality control which can perform necessary actions in order to reduce the probability of occurrence of the errors in the construction processes and other processes that are involved in it. If cannot prevent completely, then the risk can be reduced to a possible extent where it cannot bother and impact the overall process. Not only this, the same standard can be applied in order to prevent or reduce the possibility of the errors by any means in the planning for quality assurance. This implementation of a quality control system even in the quality assurance plans or system will affect and reduce the overall possibility of error occurrence.

On the basis of the above discussion about different approaches to be implemented and to be adopted, it is necessary to take the contract under the levels of standards which are acceptable as well as cost effective and are efficient. Therefore, the parties or a different set of parties involved or to be included in it must be in respect to the standards as discussed. This will help in making the contract efficient, effective as well as cost effective also by following the acceptable level of standards.

In addition, the overall quality concerning the process of the construction process shall be critical as the same could cause impacts to a significant manner over subsequent levels of costs concerning the maintenance of the roads (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). Hence, the system for quality control shall be essential for reducing the overall possibility concerning the errors all through the relevant construction process as well as the same shall be usually be embodied within the quality assurance plans (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241).

When it comes to the materials or type of materials that are available locally in different ways, or in this case, the materials that are available by the borrowing pits shall be into the careful form of exploitation. The operations are required to be implemented, operated and managed in a more careful manner so that the materials that are available or required for the project must be effectively and efficiently consumed or utilized. This will help in managing the project more efficiently when it comes to the availability of materials and resources and their consumption. Adopting standards and methods which are completely in accordance to the consumption and utilization of the materials and resources will not only play a role in resources management but will also help in managing the project in a more efficient way where materials are efficiently utilized.

However, concerning the utilization of the materials, a study has provided significant information in being careful or adopting the manners which include care about the exploitation of the materials. The critical issues in this context encompass the careful form of exploitation concerning the materials that are locally available by way of borrow pits. The said operation requires in being managed in a careful manner in case these materials shall be in an efficient manner utilized (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). At last, in certain instances, there seems to be sufficient merit with respect to undertaking of the technical audits of relevant projects in making sure that professional set of services offered by all of the parties with respect to contract shall be undertaken with respect to acceptable levels of standards within the efficient as well as cost effective approach (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241).

2.2           DEFINITION AND DESIGN ASPECTS

When it comes to the design aspects and the definition of the LVR, there has been various studies and debates about the precise design aspects and definition of the about the LVR concept and construction. Therefore, there is a need to have a clear and straight concept of the designing aspects and definition of LVR. As the LVR’s main concern is about the low volume of traffic and to manage it. Therefore, LVR must be designed in accordance with the low volume of traffic. Not only this, the designing of the LVR must be in a way that the increase in the traffic volume shall also be designed. By doing so, this will provide a clear view of the gradually increasing traffic through the designing aspect. There has been sufficient debate with respect to precise levels of definition concerning the LVR, and yet the concept shall be highly straightforward. The LVR shall simply be designed

within the contexts of lower volumes in traffic (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). The stated level of traffic with respect to the definition shall in a relative manner arbitrary manner just be the overall characteristics which shall define the LVR changes in a gradual manner as that of designing the traffic increases (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). Different departments which are relevant to the road construction or projects, or in other words different road agencies as well as those agencies which are relevant to the road agencies and project management. These agencies face different challenges when it comes to the strategy to be adopted in the construction project of the roads; there are specific requirements for different projects which are technical, social and economic environments. The challenges faced can include these factors as well. Therefore, suitable strategies and approaches for the specific project are required to be implemented and shall be undertaken in accordance with the factors mentioned.

As discussed above that the designing aspect must also include the design in the traffic increase which will provide significant awareness about the LVRs increasing traffic or gradually increasing traffic. As traffic increases, the services required will also increase as well. Therefore, the road agencies, road departments or road authorities are required to improvise their services as well. In other words, the road authorities are required to increase their services as well due to the increased volume of the traffic on the roads. For availing and providing the increased services, it must also be overlooked that the adaptation of the strategies must be free of any possibility where risk can occur or is included in the approach. More clearly, the authorities must provide increased services by adopting strategies and approaches which are high risk-free. This, as a result, will increase the standards required to be implemented to avoid high risks and handle the increased volume of traffic in the context of the services required for it and the cost will also increase.

In concern of the increase in traffic and its challenges, it is proved that the increased services are also required. The same is in a primary manner as the traffic levels increases to the most extent road authorities shall be prepared for providing the increasing levels of the services as well as in adopting highly risk free approaches. Hence, standards as well as costs in this context increase (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). The overall levels of traffic which shall be highly common to classify the road to be low volume shall be cumulative amount of the equivalent standard axles in lesser than ~ 1 million at the design life equivalent to fifteen years or else the Annual Average Daily Traffic (“AADT”), that is estimated over middle of concerned design life, with 300 motorized or else more of the wheeled vehicles each day. The highly critical element, however, with respect to these roads shall be that at the lower levels of traffic relevant engineering requirements established and set in most of the manuals as well as specifications shall indicate that performances concerning the roads shall be highly dependent with respect to environmental as compared to that over the traffic, as has been indicated in Figure 1 below. The same holds highly significant levels of ramifications over various aspects concerning the designing with respect to the roads (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241).

Meeting the Challenges in Managing Low Volume Roads (LRVs)

Figure 1 – Environment / Traffic / Road Performance (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016)

The conventional engineering, as well as conventional road engineering at a specific, can be stated to be challenging while being exposed to diversity in the environment. For the provisions of LVR, related challenges could be much higher (Al-Kaisy and Hossain 2016, 4-5; Paige Green et al. 2015, 58-61; Yu et al. 2015, 220-222; Chittoori et al. 2015, 238-241). LVRs offer critical links from that of farms / villages / homes to that of the markets as well as provide communities with accessibilities to reach education, health, as well as other basic services. These roads, in addition, offer significant linkage amongst key areas as well as connection to the major road networks. On account of the underlying significance, design engineers shall be required in work amongst as well as around these challenges. In addition, clients shall be required in being flexible as well as adaptable, in case the LVRs shall be provided in the levels of reasonable costs in the range of US Dollar 1 Million (Jia and Huang 2015, 41-45; Russo et al. 2017, 3; Cabral et al. 2015, 100-105).  LVRs play a significant role in different aspects of life. Its significance brings some challenges with it as well. The significant of LVRs is based on the connectivity of the LRVs network or the linkage that it provides with different networks. LRV connects different communities and provides access to educational institutes, health departments and other related and necessary services required in daily life as discussed above. But there is a specific reason for a deeper look into its significance because it plays a key role in raising challenges as well. Besides this role of LVR, it also connects different businesses and industries with the markets in accordance with the nature of the business and type of production of the industry. The network of LVR or the linking network includes homes, villages and farms which are connected with each other and to different markets. Not only this, LVR plays a key role in managing transportation and transferring it to a high volume of roads or highways. Due to LVRs, traffic is able to move to the highways and other areas. Keeping the significance of the LVRs in the road system or road network, it is important that the design of the LVR must be kept in accordance to the role it has been playing and to be developed accordingly to fulfil the basic as well as the increasing requirement of the roads. Keeping such significance in the account, there are various challenges which are present in accordance with the rush and transportation level on LVR. The designing departments, road authorities and design engineers are required to meet the challenges accordingly or to work under these challenges. Therefore, the developmental planning, designing and construction approaches must be in accordance with the challenges to face and meet as well as the characteristics of the LVR and requirements to be met.

Most often, LVRs can be noted in being unpaved with earth or else gravel wearing surfaces. The budgets with respect to maintenance as well as enhancement of the said roads shall be constrained. In managing to face these various challenges of enhancing the network of LVRs, overall application concerning the conventional forms of planning, designing, relevant construction as well as the related maintenance philosophies employed with respect high traffic roads shall be unlikely for providing the optimal solution (Russo et al. 2017, 3).

For the purposes of determining solutions that are cost-effective with respect to provisions concerning LVRs, it shall be critical for understanding the overall mechanics concerning the ways in which roads shall deteriorate in the initial place (Jia and Huang 2015, 41-45; Russo et al. 2017, 3; Cabral et al. 2015, 100-105). The deterioration concerning the prevailing unpaved forms of LVRs across Ethiopia can be stated to be governed by material types employed across the surfaces (earth till gravel), strength pertaining to the soil that is underlying (expansive, erodible, and / or soft), the overall action as well as types of the traffic (heavy vehicles, pedestrian, etc.) as well as most crucially, overall influence concerning the pertinent environment in which said road shall be constructed, or is planned in being constructed (Jia and Huang 2015, 41-45; Russo et al. 2017, 3; Cabral et al. 2015, 100-105). The same encompasses both natural, or else, bio-physical environments as well as human environment. Further the same includes overall interaction amongst the various environmental factors as well as road structure. Some of the factors can be uncontrollable like that of those attributable with the concerned natural environment, inclusive of interacting influences concerning the climate (like for example intensity, rainfall, and wind), local hydrology as well as drainage, gradient and terrain.

In a collective manner, all of these shall have influence over performances relating to the road as well as concerned design approach related needs for recognizing these influences by way of offering options which shall lead to the minimization of negative effects (Jia and Huang 2015, 41-45; Russo et al. 2017, 3; Cabral et al. 2015, 100-105). Besides the various challenges that exist and are being faced by the engineering departments and other relevant departments as well. One of the diverse aspects of challenges which exist and is faced by the departments relevant to the road construction and other related authorities is the environmental aspects. When exposed to the diversity of the environment, the challenges for the development of the roads increases. But, when it comes to the LVRs, the challenges can be even higher for conventional engineering or conventional road engineering. Therefore, environmental factors and diversity play a key role in the increased challenges and issues in meeting the challenges for the departments.

Among the diversity of the environment and its impact on the engineering of the road as are discussed above. The diversity of the environment also includes some other factors or more clearly, different factors which lies in the natural environment. These natural environments are the wind and rainfall of greater intensity which has a greater influence and is uncontrollable. However, the effect and influence of these climate factors can be minimized to a possible extent. It is necessary to include such factors in the designing aspects, conventional road engineering to overcome such challenges to the possible extent. Therefore, it is required to include designing approaches, techniques and processes which will recognize the possible outcomes in these cases. This will help in reducing the overall negative outcomes and impacts on the performance of the construction or engineering of the roads.

Various other set of factors, like that of maintenance as well as construction regimes, safety as well as environmental concerns, and also overall extent / types of the traffic shall be to a large extent be controllable as well as could be highly ready in being built as that of design approach (Jia and Huang 2015, 41-45; Russo et al. 2017, 3; Cabral et al. 2015, 100-105).

There is a different kind of factors that are connected or are linked with LVR and may include influences as well. When it comes to the designing aspects of the road or in this case the LVR, the factors must be considered or shall be provided significance because they hold a linkage with the road. The designing approaches must be in accordance with the pertaining factors which are environmental related aspects, safety, types of traffic, construction regimes and maintenance regimes which are already discussed above. These mentioned factors must be kept under the radar while planning and managing as well as in the designing approach as this will help in dealing and meeting with the challenges to the possible extent. However, these factors are divided into two sets. One is of controllable factors which can be controlled with the relevant, required and precise approaches of planning, development and designing. The controllable factors include the traffic or type of traffic on the road, green environment, construction regime, and maintenance regime and road safety. Besides the controllable factors, there are uncontrollable factors which include construction materials as they can be easily managed and planned with the appropriate approach required. Further can be made effective by efficient usage and utilization of the materials. Other uncontrollable factors are terrain, subgrade, and surface and hub surface hydrology. The most challenging and clearly uncontrollable factor is of climate. Which further includes rain, wind, snowfall and other related extreme weather conditions. However, this is not a directly controllable factor, but the effects and impacts of such factor can be reduced to a possible extent if appropriate and precise methods and approaches are implemented and used.

The standard environment factors pertaining to LVR are presented in Figure 2 below –

Meeting the Challenges in Managing Low Volume Roads (LRVs)

Figure 2 – LVRs: Environmental Factors (Russo et al. 2017, 3)

2.3           SELECTION CRITERIA

When it comes to the construction or development of the LVRs, there are certain requirements, conditions and criteria to meet. This will not only help in identifying the factors which will be helpful throughout the construction, developmental project but will also help in dealing with the issues and challenges. The broader and clearer the nature of the challenges and the issues will be, the more effective the LVRs will become as well as the planning and implementation or strategic approach will be shaped accordingly. Therefore, it is necessary to overlook the selection criteria in a deeper and broader way to define the criteria clearly. The selection criteria with respect to the development of LVRs are presented in this section.

2.3.1         Political Factor

The demand with respect to LVR provision needs in being suitably framed in the context of national policies. The same shall be driven by way of government and also the needs for being supported in a suitable manner across highest of levels (Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4). These cross sectoral influences with respect to the provisions of LVR as well as the role within the underpinning of other various strategies for sectoral development and also the various economic/agricultural programmes requires to be understood, quantified, and suitably highlighted (Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4).Following the political factor properly and accordingly will help in work under the policies and standards that are formed accordingly to meet a certain requirement. Following all legal rules and regulations and policies will help in keeping the LVRs provisions under and accordingly to the political frame by following all the addressed or required policies and standards.

2.3.2         Social Acceptance

The provisions of the road networks concerning LVRs need to be suitably managed over the ways such that the same shall ensure the community level participation with respect to planning as well as making decisions, elimination of the gender bias as well as the promotion of participation through women within road sector, and promotion of activities as well as investments with respect to the sustainable livelihoods (Agarwal et al. 2016, 21; Gallego Vazquez et al. 2016, 118-120; Zednik et al. 2018, 74-78). Following the selection criteria of social acceptance as described will help in different aspects. It will include the engagement and involvement of society and promotion will be carried on under their acceptance. As construction departments are still known as the men work, therefore the participation of the women in the road sector will help in promoting the coordination of the society without being gender conscious. Eliminating the concept of gender differences or gender biases and promoting the field work in such coordination will play a significant role in not only managing the provisions of the road network. It will also carry social factors which are positive ones and will impact the society positively as well as meet the requirements and concerns of provisions of the LVRs.

2.3.3         Institutional Capacity

The concerned road authorities, as well as the clients, shall be required in – promoting the technical, economic, and institutional understanding with respect to the provision as well as the management concerning LVRs, as well as, promote the commercial level management practices (Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4). Supporting and promoting the management practices will develop an environment which will hold a flow of such practices which are aligned with institutional understanding as well as the continuity of the project undertaken.

2.3.4         Technology Choice

The technologies to design, construct as well as maintain the LVRs need to employ suitable levels of design standards as well as specifications, utilize the technology concerning intermediate equipment options as well as the reduction of the reliance over the imports of heavy equipment (Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4).By limiting the imports of the heavy equipment and focusing on the easily available technology will help in keeping the operations running smoothly and will also make them cost efficient as well. But, it is necessary to meet all the standards and suitable levels and the specifications of the technology to be utilized throughout the project as it will help in keeping the operations running smoothly and precisely.

2.3.5         Economic Viability

The economic appraisal with respect to LVRs need to employ suitable tools with respect to LVRs which needs to be capable for quantifying the environmental, economic, and social costs as well as benefits, and ensuring the investment decisions with respect to LVRs shall be on the basis of the assessments concerning the overall life costs (Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4). Keeping the aspects related to the benefits, social costs, environmental and economical, the viability of the LVRs can be obtained. If LVRs becomes economically viable, it means that the overall lifetime costs of LVRs is effective or efficient enough and can play its role effectively.

2.3.6         Financial Sustainability

The sustainable provisions concerning the LVRs shall rely over sustainable provisioning of the funding with respect to concerned sector such that roads shall not be required in being upgraded towards engineered standards in case funding shall not be in place with respect to routine as well as periodic levels of maintenance requirements, and designs shall never be adopted where there is a requirement of excessive levels of allocation concerning the maintenance resources. Therefore, it is necessary to lie under the criteria of the financial sustainability to have provisions of LVRs which are sustainable as well(Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4).

2.3.7         Protection of the Environment

The design, as well as the management concerning LVRs, needs to minimize physical impacts from construction as well as maintenance activities over concerned natural environment, take in consideration the socio-cultural level impacts of the community cohesion, optimization of the resource management as well as enable the recycling concerning the non-renewable materials, and minimize any of the detrimental impacts over the concerned natural environments as well as the contribution towards the climate Changes (Landers et al. 2015, 3; Li et al. 2017, 6-9; Pinard et al. 2015, 4). This selection criterion plays an important role amongst other criteria’s being selected as it is advised to contribute to the climate and play a significant role in environmental protection as well. Many construction projects and programs include a significant impact on the environment and contribute negatively to the climate. Therefore, it is necessary to follow this criterion as well as all the possible methods and procedures which can contribute to the environment safety as well as towards climate.

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY

This project is informative in case of effective implementation of engineering based road project in the society. This case is based on both secondary and primary source of data collection technique. This research methodology is used in order to undertake the study which consists of a different secondary exploratory study in order to review the different researchers regarding this topic. This is quite innovative and informative for the researchers. The major objective of this research methodology is to critically consider the secondary source of researches, its related case study approach in order to correlate the various Low Volume Road Projects in order to gain a suitable insight for addressing the research questions. In order to critically consider the importance of these LVR in the country’s infrastructure, different case studies and the related research articles are critically studied while the major aim of these research articles and case studies is to critically analyze the specific set of issues in the relevant boundaries within the specific research context, its overall scope and context.

The research methodology of this analysis is based on the second approach were the different case studies are critically analyzed through different issue factor. On the basis of these case studies, qualitative and quantitative data is collected. The collected data is based on the relevant topic of this study. In order to crucially analyze the different research methodology of this research, a descriptive analysis is used in order to critically analyze the real life situation of individuals regarding the development theses low volume road in the society. The major aim is to critically consider the abilities in order to capture the situation for the in-depth analysis.

There are some issues also faced during critically analyzing the case studies because, at some point, these case studies have some limitation in term of their approach. Other challenges are faced in the case of the qualitative approach and to generalize the findings and conclusion. This secondary source of data is effective in order to critically analyze the different challenges of the construction of LVR in the country’s infrastructure. The overall approach, scope and objective of this research are to critically analyze and evaluate the case study base different issues regarding this topic. This is a quite easy and informative approach.

The research methods employed to undertake the study encompasses the combination of an exploratory study to review the various literature pertinent to the research topic and objectives to suitably collect the required secondary information and case study approach to collating various LRV projects to gain suitable insights for addressing the research questions. In essence, case studies shall aim in the analysis of a specific set of issues in the relevant boundaries within the specific research context, and overall the scope and environment as relevant.

In the context of this study, the basis of using case study approach shall encompass data collection as well as analysis in contexts of the phenomenon, overall integration concerning quantitative as well as qualitative data with respect to data analysis, as well as the abilities for capturing complexities of real-life situations such that relevant phenomenon could be suitably studied at the great levels in depth. While it can be stated that case studies have certain limitations in terms of the approach having an absence of rigour due to qualitative aspects, other challenges affiliated to data analysis as well as little levels of basis with respect to generalizations for the findings / conclusions. On account of the qualitative / secondary nature of the data, the analysis of the results with respect to case study shall tend to be highly subjective or else opinion based as compared to say a statistical method. Overall, given the scope and objectives of the research approach, a case study approach shall have more suitability and value as compared to other methods.

3.1   RESEARCH PLAN: SCHEDULE & RESOURCE PLANNING

The detailed Gantt chart for the project illustrating the research schedule is presented as follows along with the resources needed for each of the tasks –

Meeting the Challenges in Managing Low Volume Roads (LRVs)

Figure 3: Gantt chart with Resource Requirements

There is a total of 14 essential steps in the research plan, its schedule and resource planning. First one is the topic identification in which topic is identified and then is further proceeded. In the next step, the topic is finalized, and then a proposal design takes place accordingly. Once the Proposal is prepared, its finalization occurs. A proper literature identification takes place and with it a proper research design process as well. Following the planning process properly and precisely, the review of literature takes place and with it the data collection in accordance with the review of literature or study based on the literature review. Then the final steps take place which is of the preliminary report preparation and submission, data analysis and the outcome of the assessment. On the basis of the steps being taken in accordance with the proper plan, the findings on the basis of these steps are then reviewed. Then the preparation of the final report and the report submission takes place.

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS

The key findings based on the various case reviews lead to the following findings –

  • The overall structure concerning the paved road comprises to the typical extent of one or else more number of layers comprising materials that have varied strength characteristics, and each of the layers shall serve the purposes to distribute the load that is received over the top across the wider region in the bottom side. These layers over upper part concerning relevant structure shall be subjected with higher levels of stress as compared to those where they are lower down as well as in consequence need in being constructed by way of stronger materials (Chittoori et al. 2015, 238; Hafez et al. 2018, 3; Sarrazin and De Smet 2017, 115). The overall surfacing shall be most likely towards non-structural with respect to the contributions towards overall strength concerning the pavement of roads (González et al. 2018, 336; Li et al. 2015, 176-178; Kolisoja and Saarenketo 2014, 24-26). Based on the findings, it is necessary to have a broader and deeper look when it comes to the construction of the layer. There are different aspects to overlook, but one of the most important ones is the utilization of the materials. The weaker materials forms weaker layers or the ones which does not bear much stress and therefore distributes from the position or in other words deformation takes place to some extent. Therefore it is necessary to use stronger material to include higher levels of stress as compared to others in which poor materials or improper utilization of the materials is the case.
  • The LVR principles need maximum levels of usage concerning the materials that are locally available as well as the minimum levels of usage concerning the highly expensive of the pavement materials at a higher quality. The design charts with respect to LVRs shall be required in being derived for the purposes of minimising the overall thickness concerning expensive materials as well as in maintaining subgrade protection through the use of lesser expensive layers within the sub base as well as the capping layers (Gulyás and Kovács 2016, 1725; Abdel Warith et al. 2015, 38; Jafari Ahangari and Evans 2016, 3). These capping layers need to use the material quality which shall be to a significant extent lower as compared to the sub base requirements. Following these requirements as described already, the overall LVRs requirements or characteristics can be achieved in this case. Following such requirement will not only help in constructing the layers accordingly but will also play its role in the efficient and proper use of the materials or better utilization of materials.

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS

Most of the methods that are used currently with respect to the design as well as management of LVRs neglect the permanent level deformation concerning its granular layers as well as the design of pavement layers in being a resolve to the means for protecting relevant subgrade by way of permanent deformation. The development of permanent deformation within LVRs take place in the forms of the ruts as well as represents the chief distress modes within the said pavements. The same can be stated to be broadly as the consequences from deformability at the layers of granular on account of them being in a typical manner be of competent material, accountable with respect to the distribution of stress levels. The modelling of deformability forms the crux with respect to the concepts relating to the approaches of the mechanistic design.

In conclusion, the findings and the outcome of the study validates that the importance of the following points in managing the challenges with respect to LVRs –

  • Consider, evaluate and suitably plan for the permanent level deformation concerning LVRs granular layers as well as the design of pavement layers such that permanent damages are avoided
    • Consider, evaluate and suitably plan for the deformability at the layers of granular
  • Undertake modelling of deformability in a detailed and planned manner to avoid any issues at a later period.

REFERENCES

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Hafez, M Ksaibati, K and Atadero, RA 2018 Applying Large-Scale Optimization to Evaluate Pavement Maintenance Alternatives for Low-Volume Roads using Genetic Algorithms. Transportation Research Record, p.0361198118781147.

Hafez, M Ksaibati, K and Atadero, R 2018 Integration of Optimization Methodology to Evaluate Pavement Maintenance Strategies for Deteriorated Low-Volume Roads. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, (ja).

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 Available at : https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5906&context=etd

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