Make roads rain-proof with concrete: Experts

October 28, 2013

Riyan Ramanath V, TNN

BHUBANESWAR: After several of the city roads got damaged in the rain that has continued non-stop over the past week, experts have suggested building of concrete roads that can survive similar downpours.

A single spell of rain is enough to create potholes on the roads. If some of the roads, which are located in low-lying areas and are prone to waterlogging, can be concretized, there would be no need for frequent repairs, feel experts.

“Like Mumbai, which switched over to concrete roads to avoid potholes caused by frequent rain, Bhubaneswar should also plan out to concretize some roads that are vulnerable to rain water. Although initial construction cost of concrete roads is almost double compared to bitumen roads, the former can survive the impact of rain,” said chairman of Indian Institute of Architect (Odisha chapter) Sanjib Guru. He said switching over to concrete roads would require some elevation from the ground level.

However, concrete roads also have their flip side. They are likely to cause more friction of tyres of the vehicles compared to bitumen roads. It will also generate more heat. “Concrete roads are suitable at those locations where drainage facilities can’t be created. Second, concrete roads cannot be easily repaired unlike bitumen roads,” said city engineer T B K Shroff, pointing out that 300 km of roads in the city was damaged because of rainfall and stagnation of rain water on roads. “We have given a Rs 10 crore proposal to the state government for immediate repair of the roads,” said Shroff.

“The average lifespan of a bitumen road is three to four years and such roads fare badly during monsoon. Concrete roads are advisable in coastal cities like Bhubaneswar, as they last for at least 20-25 years. During waterlogging, the concrete roads rather gain strength,” said urban planer Piyush Rout. Concrete roads are also less vulnerable to water seepage.

For cities like Bhubaneswar, which during the entire monsoon receives 1,100-1,200 mm of rain, bitumen roads have been constructed accordingly. However, poor composition of bitumen and chips makes the roads vulnerable to rain water.


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