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A Simple and Effective Method of Repairing Potholes in India

A Simple and Effective Method of Repairing Potholes in India

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Development of potholes on roads and streets of India after the onset of monsoons is a common phenomenon. An economical, generic, ready made stockpile cold patching mix has been proposed, which is manufactured in a batch type hot mix plant using local aggregates. This "idiot-proof" mix can be placed without preparing the pothole such as drying, squaring the edges, cleaning, and tack coating. This patching mix developed by the author in the US was adjudged as the best performer in the ready made bituminous patching mix category in a nationwide field evaluation research project conducted under the US Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).

The mix can be stockpiled and remains workable for at least 6 months and, therefore, it can be used throughout the year including the rainy season. This so-called "Kandhal Mix" has been used by the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) since 2010 with great success. After persistent efforts by the author, the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) has now (August 2014) adopted the Kandhal Mix as a standard readymade pothole repair mix via IRC Specification IRC:116 - 2014.

This article includes the 2008 IRC paper on this subject; post script note dated 25 September 2014; and specifications, rate analyses, and tender documents used by the JDA, which can readily be used by highway agencies in India.
Development of potholes on roads and streets of India after the onset of monsoons is a common phenomenon. An economical, generic, ready made stockpile cold patching mix has been proposed, which is manufactured in a batch type hot mix plant using local aggregates. This "idiot-proof" mix can be placed without preparing the pothole such as drying, squaring the edges, cleaning, and tack coating. This patching mix developed by the author in the US was adjudged as the best performer in the ready made bituminous patching mix category in a nationwide field evaluation research project conducted under the US Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).

The mix can be stockpiled and remains workable for at least 6 months and, therefore, it can be used throughout the year including the rainy season. This so-called "Kandhal Mix" has been used by the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) since 2010 with great success. After persistent efforts by the author, the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) has now (August 2014) adopted the Kandhal Mix as a standard readymade pothole repair mix via IRC Specification IRC:116 - 2014.

This article includes the 2008 IRC paper on this subject; post script note dated 25 September 2014; and specifications, rate analyses, and tender documents used by the JDA, which can readily be used by highway agencies in India.

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Published by: Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal on Sep 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 1
A SIMPLE AD EFFECTIVE METHOD OF REPAIRIG POTHOLES I IDIA By Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal*
[This paper was published as Paper o. 544 in the Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, Volume 69-3, October-December 2008. Author’s response to comments made on this paper are also given at the end.]
ABSTRACT
Development of potholes on roads and streets of India after the onset of monsoons is a common phenomenon. Quite often, potholes are repaired with antiquated techniques such as placing soil or bare aggregate in the pothole because no hot mix asphalt is available during monsoons. An economical, generic, readymade stockpile cold patching mix has been proposed, which is manufactured in a batch type hot mix plant using local aggregates. This generic mix can  be placed without preparing the pothole such as drying, squaring the edges, cleaning, and tack coating. This patching mix developed by the author was adjudged as the best  performer in the readymade bituminous patching mix category in a nationwide field evaluation research project conducted under the US Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). Since that study was conducted in regions with different climatic conditions (including hot and wet), it is believed this patching mix will be equally successful in India. Recent field trials of this mix in Rajasthan during monsoons have been highly successful. The mix can be stockpiled and remains workable for at least 6 months and, therefore, it can  be used throughout the year including the rainy season. A detailed specification ready to be used by highway agencies in India is given in the paper.
1.
 
ITRODUCTIO
Development of potholes on Indian roads and streets after the onset of monsoons is a common phenomenon. Every year there is a public outcry and newspapers are full of  pictures showing potholed road pavements. Hot mix asphalt plants are usually shut down during monsoons and no hot bituminous mix is available for filling potholes. Therefore, many potholes are either not repaired or repaired with antiquated techniques. It is quite common for the government agencies to repair potholes as follows:
 
Fill the pothole with soil, which is usually washed away in the first rain.
 ______________________________________________________________________ *
Associate Director Emeritus, National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), Auburn University, Alabama, USA (currently, Karanpura House, 50 Raj Bhawan Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur 302 006) E-mail: pkandhal@eng.auburn.edu
 
 2
 
Fill the pothole with bare stones (Photos 1 and 2). This not only provides a rough riding surface especially for motorcycles but the stone particles start to Photo 1. Pothole filled with soil and aggregate Photo 2. Pothole filled with bare aggregate ravel out of the pothole during subsequent rains. If the stones survive in the  potholes, these are not usually removed and pothole properly patched when the road or street is overlaid with hot mix. This results in reappearance of the same  pothole during next year’s monsoon.
 
 3
 
Very deep potholes are filled with cement bags full of sand, which is undesirable.
 
Sometimes a penetration macadam type approach is used. A tack coat is applied to the bottom of the pothole. A layer of large stone is spread in the pothole. Bituminous binder is applied to the stone layer and then another layer of stone is spread and compacted. This penetration macadam is extremely porous to water and gets saturated with water when it rains. Even when the road is resurfaced with hot mix, the pothole redevelops at the same place year after year. Photo 3 shows an example of the repeated failure of this technique in India. Photo 3. Reappearance of pothole repaired with the penetration macadam technique The following are the major disadvantages of potholes when they are not repaired at all or repaired with the preceding improper techniques:
 
Inconvenience to motoring public
 
User delays which cost money in terms of their time
 
Extra fuel consumed when the vehicles have to stop or go very slow
 
Excessive wear and tear of the vehicles, which require frequent repairs
 
Increased air pollution caused by vehicle emission due to slow or stopped traffic
 
Accidents resulting from the tendency of the vehicles to go around the potholes

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