Roads maintenance, repair and rehabilitation

Roads maintenance, repair and rehabilitation

27 March 2019 Off By The Engineering Community

Roads maintenance, repair and rehabilitation


Roads are exposed to tremendous loads that will sooner or later leave their marks on them. A time will come when every road will be in need of a general overhaul. But no two damage patterns are alike.

Which rehabilitation methods offer a cure for distressed roads? What are the differences between them? Which are suitable to be carried out as mobile roadworks?


Replacing the pavement is a standard procedure when repairing roads. The challenge is to ensure that only the damaged layers of the road structure are removed – and to avoid disruptions to traffic at the same time. Under these conditions, cold milling is the only viable option for many construction projects

The tools that cold milling machines use for removing road layers were originally developed for the mining industry. So-called point-attack cutting tools, fitted to a rotating milling drum on the underside of the machine, bite into the road at precisely the specified depth.

Fine milling

Fine milling is an alternative to time-consuming and expensive complete rehabilitation. This method is used above all when traffic safety is severely compromized by undulations, ruts or a slippery surface.

Many countries are investing less money in maintaining their road network despite increasing traffic loads. The result is a growing demand for fast and economically efficient solutions that are capable of taking the edge off hazardous stretches of road.

Fine milling is such a method, and is predominantly used where bumps and wheel ruts, or slippery surfaces pose an acute danger to traffic safety.

When cold recycling road pavements, contractors can choose between processing the milled material “in-situ”, meaning on the job site, or “in-plant”, meaning in a cold mixing plant. Their decision is influenced, however, not only by the damage patterns of the road to be repaired. What are the advantages offered by “in-plant” cold recycling? How does it work? What kinds of damage patterns can cold recycling “in-plant” be used for?

One speaks of cold recycling “in-plant” when the reclaimed asphalt material of roads in need of rehabilitation is recycled in a nearby mixing plant, transported back to the job site, and then placed again by road pavers. The method is often used with roads that are exposed to high loads by heavy traffic, and with damages extending all the way into the pavement subgrade, but where site conditions do not allow the operation of an “in-situ” cold recycling train.


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