The Different Types of Road Maintenance
Roads connect our world, but unfortunately, they can be the source of a lot of problems. This is the reason why so much maintenance on roads is necessary. Many elements are at play, which is why a lot of work is routinely performed. Discover the different types of road maintenance and what it all entails below.
There are various levels of road maintenance, which are broken up into three categories: routine, periodic, and emergency.
Potholes are terrible for your cars and are primarily caused by snowplows and all the salt used on the roads in the winter to melt ice and snow. Pothole patching is completed by cleaning out all the rocks and debris in the pothole and filling it up with patching materials. Pothole patching is commonplace in cold weather cities, and the holes must be filled for a temporary fix to ensure a safe and smooth ride before the road is eventually repaved.
Another part of road maintenance is making sure that there is nothing on the road itself that can be harmful to drivers. This can be anything from fallen trees to debris that can be dangerous if left on the road. A lot of road clearing can be weather related as well. During the winter, snowplows are used to remove excess amounts of snow. Another preventative measure used in the winter that was previously mentioned is spreading salt on the roads to melt ice. In emergency situations or after traffic accidents, various parts of a car might be on the road, which will require removing as well. When there is a need for concrete removal on roads or bridges, slab sawing is the most effective method. Anything on the road that can be harmful to drivers is cleared off the pavement.
Clearing Ditches and Culverts
Ditches and culvert pipes also need to be cleared for save travel. For ditches on the side of the road, maintenance crews will usually use a water hose to clear ditches of any unwanted materials. Larger, more cumbersome objects, like tree branches, will need to be removed from culverts and ditches by hand or machine. Proper removal allows for ditches and culvert pipes to function properly without any disruption.
An additional weather element that can cause issues for the road is flooding. For roads to be prepared for potential flooding, the proper drainage needs to be in place. Temporary road closure might also be necessary if the road is too unsafe to drive on. This is when temporary signs will be put into place to guide drivers away from the road flooding.
The shoulders of roads also need to be maintained regularly. For this work to be done, the use of a grader is necessary. This tactic for the shoulder helps it become leveled and reshaped. This work is usually performed in rural areas on roads with no sidewalks. While shoulders are not necessarily the road itself, they are still an important part that needs to be preserved.
Traffic Sign and Road Marking Repair
Traffic signs and road markings are essential for roads and do get damaged from time to time. Whether from a storm or an accident, damaged signs and road markings need to be taken care of to maintain road safety for drivers. A traffic sign repair might mean the installation of a new sign as well. Road marking repair will also require the roadway lines and lane perimeters to be repainted if they have faded over time and become difficult to see. If there is construction being done and vehicles need to be rerouted, temporary traffic cones and barricades will be placed on the road to guide drivers. All these are necessary measures to take to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
Driving at night can be dangerous, especially on the highway with many cars driving at high speeds. Roadway lighting makes visibility far easier, and its upkeep cannot be understated. It’s critical that lights are properly functioning and are repaired quickly if they aren’t.
Bridge work is also incredibly common and important for road maintenance. Work that is often done involves the expansion joints of the bridge. This part of the bridge allows for there to be traffic on top of the bridge’s structure. Maintenance work is also done with the sealants of the bridge to make sure there is safe travel on the bridge. Some other kinds of bridge maintenance include painting, patching, washing, lubricating bearings, removing waste, sealing cracks, and other work for preservation.
Most roads and highways have vegetation, such as grass, trees, and plants, on the side or on the medians between highways and boulevards. For this reason, another aspect of road maintenance is making sure all the vegetation is under control and doesn’t start to affect the road and its driver. Examples of vegetation that impede road or driver visibility include a low-hanging tree branch that might be blocking a sign, vegetation blocking or limiting side road visibility, and trees that are too close to the road.
Over time, roads easily deteriorate because of all the use they get and the harsh weather they endure year round, from the snow to the sun. When it gets to a certain point, roads will be resurfaced. Perhaps the most common method is asphalt overlay. This adds a new layer to the road that is smooth and therefore safer to drive on.
Road use continues to grow as more people travel on them daily. Certain roads, especially highways, are expanded to accommodate the additional traffic and commuters. Traffic congestion is real, but it can be prevented with some maintenance work. The expansion of a road means adding more lanes to it to increase travel efficiency and improve traffic flow.
Road maintenance goes beyond what you might already know or assume. The different types of road maintenance are necessary to make sure that everyday travel is safe and efficient.