Experts suggest numerous

Even as the City Corporation and the Public Works Department are citing rain as the excuse for not taking up the repair of severely damaged roads in the city, civil engineers have come out with numerous alternative technologies that could be used to fill potholes and temporarily restore roads even during the rainy season.

A senior engineer who oversaw the construction of many roads and bridges in the State said that sub-quality road and drain works, and corruption were to be blamed for most roads in the city giving away just after a couple of minor showers.

He suggested a couple of methods to restore roads during the rainy season. “The best available method is to use a mixture of crushed metal and minimal amount of tar to fill the potholes. The surface will be a little rough but would withstand the rain for well over a month, if properly laid. This will also prevent potholes from becoming larger.”

A mobile patch work unit that would go around the city filling potholes as they developed would be an ideal and cost-effective option. This would prevent the potholes from becoming bigger and ending up as craters, he said.

Also, premixed metal and tar, that is available in sacks, could be used to fill small potholes during the rainy season. This recently-developed material was used by the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) to fill the potholes developed on its bridge at SN Junction in Tripunithura. The advantage of the material was that it did not require curing period and vehicles could use the stretch immediately after the holes were filled.

Another civil engineer, D.P. Panicker, said that both shallow and deep ditches along roads such as the Thammanam-Kathrikkadavu Road could been filled and repaired with quick-setting dry concrete. “If quick setting cement is not readily available, suitable admixes can be used in concrete. While executing repairs, the road camber (the slope towards either side of the road width) should be smooth so that water does not stagnate on the road, ultimately damaging it.”

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