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Road – Causes of Road Pavement Failure

Road – Investigation into the Causes of Road Pavement Failure, along New-Market Express Road.



Road- It is the objective of this research work to provide the basic and fundamental instruction on the causes of road pavement failure-using Enugu New -Market express road as a case study. The road which has been constructed for a long time now has over the years undergone countless pavement deterioration. This has consequently led to the dissatisfaction derived by the road users, which ranges from rough riding surface, unlimited motor accidents etc. To arrest this aging problem, there was need to carry out both field investigation and lab tests on the soil. Having a substantial knowledge on highway engineering the causes and effects of the failure were easily identified. The foundation failure of the road pavement observed are cause by excess ground water penetrated into the base, sub-base course geotechnical properties of the soil were also responsible for the failure of the road pavement such as Inadequate compaction, water infiltration through edge break, Lack of adequate drainage and unsuitable soil. For better comprehension f this project work it was necessary to start by discussing briefly on the types of road pavement and types of failures. However emphases were made on the failure found on the road pavement under investigation. Various test are carried out on soil samples collected failed areas of the road such as CBR test, Sieve analysis test, Natural moisture content, Atterberg limits, Specific gravity and Compaction test. The laboratory test conducted and the procedures involved were elaborately discussed. This was followed by the interpretation of the test results.
Finally, conclusion and recommendations by the student researcher as regards the project were made.


        Road pavement failure is a basic problem on most highways in Nigeria and south East in general. The development was divided among three tiers of Government – the federal, the regional and local Government Area. Today they are known as the federal, the state and the local government. The federal government was changed with the development of road linking state and important cities are federal road. Obviously, the states are responsible for developing road linking the communities and districts to the local government headquarters.
Most of these roads fail before the completion of the project or during the construction stages. Investigation indicated that lapes exist in the design and construction level. There is need for the engineers to consider those factor that links to these failure. Because, most of these tests failure develop from minor shrinkage cracks and potholes immediately after the road is newly constructed.

        Despite all this, some roads are not capable to with stand stresses. One wonders whether the designers are actually doing their basic work in Nigeria before the construction stage.


Basically, from early stages of road construction, failure of road pavement has been the problem in road design and construction. The aim and objective of this project work, was that our country Nigeria has suffered many road failures in the recent year. This creates a lot of concern to both government and road users and basically to the student researcher.

         Frequently, most failures occur as a result of over load and cracking. Because the base or sub base inadequately support the surface layer and subsequently cannot handle loads that, it would normally endure. As over loading will happen with loads of less magnitude or frequency. The failure can be due to weakness in the surface. Hence, they come about by the moisture movement swelling and shrinkage of sub-grade containing clays and silt may occur due to change in moisture content. The rate at which this road failure occur one may be asking is it poor design, inadequate planning or over-loading is basic cause of this problem. And this road pavement failure has caused many damage to the road sector and to the Nigeria construction company in general.

         According to certain researches, road pavement that exceed a certain minimum strength or thickness can hypothetically handle infinitely many loads without showing structural defects or any failure. But aim and objective of this project in general is to find out the basic causes of highway pavement failure and possible means to solve and prevent this failure from taking place.


                Hence, in view of the specific area covered by the failure, investigations were carried out at different area along new-market express road, which formed the section under case study. The material and result gathered could be an adequate representative of the mode of failure.

             Field investigation was conducted at the distressed section of the road. The results derived and observed from the experiments as required by federal ministry of works.


Road pavement is very significance to the countries in general. But government are not really putting adequate measure, that is why there are a lot of road pavement failure in the country most especially south east.

         Provision for adequate drainage is of paramount importance in pavement design and cannot be over emphasized. It plays basic significance in the reduction or elimination of this problem. Road pavement play vital role both in transportation, as they provide a safe path for people to work along is separated from the motorized traffic.        Obviously, research has show, it is far less expensive to keep road pavement in good condition than it is to repair, once it has deteriorated.

             Finally, if the road pavement is insufficiently sloped or poorly drained, standing water on the surface can also lead to wet-weather crashes due to poor planning, thereby causing the road pavement failure.




     Most roads pavement fail in Nigeria Several research and reports has been made on investigation on failures in Nigeria. Many seminars have also been carried out on measures to avert pavement failure in south east and Nigeria in general. Because, this issue has caused many problem to the government of federal and state respectively.

       In paper presented by commissioner for works Engr Mmadueke. The title of the paper is danger to the stability of road, and the paper was Presented on June 2008. Attributed the basic causes of failure on the popular Enugu new-market express road. He remarked highway to heavy axle loads of traffic, lack of sub soil drains, poor supervision by highway Engineers, and use of sub-standard material.

—This article is incomplete———–This article is incomplete———— It was extracted from a well articulated quality Project, Research Work/Material

Project Topic:

Investigation into the Causes of Road Pavement Failure, along New-Market Express Road.

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