Compendium on Pavement Durability

The provision of durable pavements is fundamental to the efficient and effective operation of the road network. Road agencies need to identify the most cost-efficient pavement design, construction and maintenance practices which will ensure satisfactory performance over the life of the pavement whilst at the same time not wasting limited resources providing pavements which are over-designed both in terms of structural thickness design and material selection.

After the formation of REAAA Technical Sub-Committee TC-2 (Pavements) in late 2010, the Committee members approved the preparation of a Compendium on Pavement Durability in line with its Terms of Reference (TOR) during its first cycle of operation. This study involved the assessment of effective methods and measures in terms of their life cycle costs (LCC) and environmental impact.

The first stage of the study was the preparation of a questionnaire which was sent to all member countries seeking information regarding the types of roads in their region, the most common types of pavements/layers, the typical types of pavement distress encountered, countermeasures to improve them, and an assessment of the effectiveness of the measures taken. A total of 15 responses from seven countries were submitted to the Working Group.

The main types of pavement distresses identified in terms of the need to maintain a durable pavement were: fatigue cracking, rutting, roughness/faulting and potholes.

The main counter measures included:

  • the use of new or specific materials
  • improvements in construction methods
  • improvement in quality assurance/control.

As expected, these measures were reported as being successful in most cases.