By: Matthew W. Singel, PE
Extended periods of high temperatures and low rainfall wreak havoc on agriculture, drinking water supply and lake access for recreation. For civil engineers and public works professionals, these conditions can create an imbalance in the subgrade moisture content, leaving soils under the center of the road at a higher moisture level than the edges, which dry out more quickly. This is most prevalent on roads with deep drainage ditches (i.e. subgrades with exposed sides). In the presence of expansive clay soils, deep longitudinal cracking often occurs near the road edge.
Prevention or mitigation can take place in several ways. All involve reducing the lateral escape of subgrade moisture content via the pavement edges. These options include:
"This blog was previously posted in the Cement Council of Texas' "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog" (now inactive) and was carried forward to the current blog ("Cementx Pavement Blog") as it contains content that may be of interest to the reader".
The Cementx Pavement Blog seeks to make pavement owners, engineers and contractors smarter about selecting, designing, constructing and maintaining pavements. New blog postings began February 1, 2017; however, we carried over pavement-related blog postings from our older blog, the "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog," which ran until December 2016.