Durable and resilient pavements are critical to moving people and goods across roads, airfields and ports. Pavements are often under immense pressure to withstand repeat loads. As electric vehicles emerge, so do heavier loads due to their batteries. Natural disasters can exacerbate the urgent need for heavy emergency vehicles. In the case of a flood, properly designed and constructed concrete pavement can spread vehicle loads over a wide area, allowing vehicles to safely pass after an inundated pavement’s water recedes. A resilient load carrying capacity allows for emergency personnel access, construction equipment to clear debris, as well as bring in supplies for those affected. Since wheel-point loads will not be immediately transferred to the subgrade and flex under pressure, a concrete pavement will not rut under heavy loads, even if the subgrade is wet or weak, continuing to provide service for years to come. 

A low volume road can be of equal importance to a main arterial when communities become impassable during these events. There have been many cases of low volume roads withstanding high volume rainfall events when the subbase is constructed with portland cement treated soil, as pictured below. 

Cement Treated Base withstands flood and inundation on airport access road.

Cement Treated Base withstands flood and inundation.

The National Concrete Consortium has recently published a “Moving Advancements into Practice”, or MAP Brief on the topic. Please take a read. Also please reach out to Chapter staff to assist with your next pavement resiliency project.