Sunday, April 10, 2011

A solution to road construction ?

There are so many kilometers of roads being constructed in sri lanka each year. Then in the following year, there will be additional expenses in repairing them! We see most of times, how the same road getting repaired again and again while still being low in quality at times.

In the last flood alone, it was reported a staggering amount of damage (if I remember correctly, Rs 50 billion!) was done to country's road network.

There are number of reasons why road constrictions are such a big challenge to us.

1) Financial constraints. (being a developing country, we have limited budgets)

2) Corruption (Offering of the tenders to friends or under 'commissions') 

3) Law quality (again, related to item 2 above. It is being said that a contractor has to "satisfy" so many people in the chain that he get left with too little to actually try and build the road itself!)

So this is a problem we all see daily and affects all of us.......  Having that in mind, it is easy to see why this video is filling us with hope!

Try for your self!

This machine uses something called Layered Diagonal Herringbone style, the one most suitable for commercial brick layered roads. An approach like this with the help of technology, could solve few big issues all at once.

1) Time to build roads get drastically cut down.

2) Low wastage

3) High Quality (at least the quality will be consistent through out everywhere, making it easy to compare or spot problems)

4) Low cost (labor costs will be drastically reduced!)

5) If we still want tar or cement, may be we could still pour them over the laid out structure. (opinions of civil engineers will be good in here, don't just just the word of yours truly on this one!) Video shows this can be used with both earthen and cement blocks.

6) Biggest advantage I see is that this will reduce the need to go for contractors using the tender processes which are known to be hot beds for breeding corruption. Just imagine, if each provincial council owns a machine like this! savings could be drastic!

This last point however can be it's week point as well in the sri lankan context :-(

Those of you who are into civil engineering, construction or knows people at policy making positions, If you think this is a good technology for our country, let us spread the word! There is already enough information on web! Like this one

What do you think ?