A low-cost road is a road that is constructed and maintained at a low cost. In the village and underdeveloped area, immediate need of road can be fulfilled at low cost by these roads and these can be improved further if required in the future at low cost.
As the road traffic increased due to the development of the rural area, the existing road needs to be improved to serve the traffic requirement. As these roads can be improved at a low cost. These are the best choice for an underdeveloped area where the investment fund is smaller.
Hence, low-cost roads are preferred in developing countries like Nepal. Where large length is to be constructed in rural areas where there are less traffic volume and low investing fund. Earth road, Gravel road, WBM road (Water Bound Macadam) are the example of low-cost road.
1.2: Construction of low-cost road
Following construction practice should be reviewed for low-cost road construction:-
1)The road shall be constructed on a balanced approach following the mass curve.
2)The road shall be constructed in stages.
3)Local materials shall be used.
4)Local manpower should be utilized.
5)Planning shall be done in a decentralized manner.
6)Bio-engineering shall be practised for slope stability (instead of costlier structure).
7)Cross slope of the road shall be toward the outside. so, as to avoid the side-drain.
8)In the case of natural water resources causeway shall be preferred instead of bridges, culverts or other costlier construction.
9)The garbage wall shall be preferred instead of retaining wall.
1.3: Advantage of low-cost road
1)No large investment of capital is required initially.
2)Local people and materials are utilized
3)As bio-engineering is preferred for slope protection instead of retaining wall. It is more environment-friendly.
4)Stage construction technique helps to manage the dispute arises at the construction site.
years 1st 2nd 3rd
width in (meter) 3 4.5 5
5)The cost of side drain construction can be saved.
6)It helps to mobilize rural materials.
7)It can be upgraded to blacktopped road economically.
1.4: Types of low-cost road
2)Soil stabilized Road
The earthen road is the cheapest type of road. The pavement structure is constructed totally from the soil available at the site. It is advantageous if we have to construct the road at the limited fund and this road may further needed to be improved in the future for an increase in traffic volume. This type of roads is generally found in village areas.
(For earthen road construction procedure – Click here )
2)Soil stabilized Road
The process of soil stabilization refers to changing the physical properties of soil in order to improve its strength, durability, or other qualities. Typically, this is important for road construction, and other concerns related to the building and maintenance of infrastructure.
The pavement base course made up of crushed or broken aggregate is mechanically interlocked by rolling and voids filled by screening and binding material with the assistance of water.
For all about WBM roads- Click here
It is a type of unpaved road surfaced with gravel that has been brought to the site from a quarry or stream bed. They are common in less developed nations, and also in rural areas of developed nations.
For more about gravel road – Click here