USING ULTRA THIN REINFORCED CONCRETE (UTRC) ROADS HAS VARIOUS BENEFITS INCLUDING:
- Substantial increase of labour content.
- Labour friendly – suitable for labour intensive construction programmes, but relative light work.
- Construction done using light and simple equipment.
- Reduction on transport of materials as the aggregate is mostly from local sources and the cement is readily available in most areas, mostly manufactured in the country.
Training and skills are acquired:
- Concreting skills can be applied in other sectors of the economy, as well as in local housing etc.
Economical use of materials and construction costs:
- Concrete supplied by Ready-mix plant is more freely available.
- Increase in oil prices has no effect on the cost of UTRC.
- Does not have the tendency to rut, shove or form potholes.
- In many cases the existing road sub structure may be used ‘as-is’.
- Ideal for upgrading existing deteriorated roads by over laying.
Less maintenance required and more durable:
- Concrete road surfacing has a service life of 50 years or more, with no major maintenance required. Compared to bituminous roads, which need to be resurfaced, or at least rejuvenated every 7 to 12 years. Thus the actual maintenance cost will escalate the longer term ‘holding’ to several times the initial cost.
- The previous failures of concrete surfacing at the joints are eliminated in Ultra Thin Concrete, due to the continuous design.
Investment in equipment fairly low:
- No heavy plant is involved in the construction of the Thin Concrete; only light plant/equipment is needed, as most of the work is done by hand. Apart from the plant neede for the sub layers, for the UTRC the typical equipment needed will be the vibrating beam and a vibrator.
- Production of concrete creates a small carbon footprint compared to the hot-mix bitumen-based plants.
- Concrete roads can utilize fly ash, a polluting by-product of thermal power plants.
- Concrete is light in colour – resulting in the reflection of about 80% of the sun’s heat, compared to only about 5% reflection for asphalt.