Improving low-volume road construction and performance: Validity of using the heavy vehicle simulator in evaluating the reinforcement of low-volume roads

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VTI notat 9A-2013 highlights the benefits of using the heavy vehicle simulator (HVS) in verifying the validity of the proposed design of roads before construction which in turn leads to more efficient and economical road constructions. Sweden has a wide network of unpaved low-volume roads which suffer from frost-thaw problems as well as insufficient drainage. Geosynthetics are specially fabricated to be used in transportation engineering applications and to reduce the aforementioned roads problems. The validity of using geosynthetics as a cost-effective alternative for constructing unpaved roads could be examined by accelerated load testing. The use of geosynthetics in order to keep the shape and slope of subgrade soil as well as to stabilize the road structure is highly recommended to be examined in detailed under different loading and environmental conditions using the heavy vehicle simulator (HVS). This testing can result in significant cost and construction time saving, better and durable unpaved roads as well as encourage the use of geosynthetics in Sweden as a less expensive alternative in producing stable roads. In addition, the HVS can be used to evaluate the cost differences in conventional and new construction technique using the geosynthetic materials and to develop guidelines for road design and construction as well as to provide some input for the development of roads modeling software.

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