I. Highway Planning, Management, Performance Evaluation & Instrumentation


1. Impact of Digging by Public Utility Departments on Urban Roads
Date of Start:

December 2005
National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), Thiruvananthapuram (R)


Scope and Objectives
The scope of study is to assess the impact of digging on roads on the functional and structural deterioration, safety, congestion, delays, and user costs.
Before starting the digging process, the surface condition of the road such as cracks, edge breaks and other distresses are recorded. Degree of compaction and type of soil etc. are also noted. When the digging is started, information on area, depth, method and aim of digging etc are also recorded. After refilling, the material (including composition) used, degree and method of compaction are also studied. Field density of the cut portion before and after digging is recorded using sand replacement method. Field moisture content, gradation, optimum moisture content etc. are calculated from laboratory studies. For cutting over pavement area, the deterioration in terms of structural and functional parameters are evaluated.
Interim Conclusions
Controlling or reducing the frequency of utility cuts on pavement can be made by formulating policies or technology based actions or by utility service providers. Policies can be in the form of incentives, fees and allocation of risks between the parties involved. Coordination between different agencies involved i.e. highway departments and service providers primarily at appropriate stages would minimize the damage deterioration.
Significance/Utilisation Potential
The study identifies the problems associated with utility cuts and would recommend potential solutions based on policies and technologies. This will help in reducing the adverse effect of digging on road condition.