Influence of Overloaded Freight Transportation on Pavement Life

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Addis Ababa University


In Ethiopia; rules and regulations on highway traffic signs speculate different restrictions (like load limit posts) but still one of the existing problem affecting pavements design period is from the effect of the heavily loaded freight transportation that uses pavements / roads for circulating goods that it transports. Overloading also contributes for the aggravation of the pavement deterioration problem that is seen within the country. Therefore, this paper tries to show the influence of overloading by analyzing which percentage of overloading contributes much for the influence plus how the pavement fatigue life gets reduced is also discussed. Analysis includes the application of the famous theories “fourth power law” as well as “AASHTO remaining fatigue life analysis” were the results gave good figure of the negative influence of overloading. The investigation was done by assessing primary and secondary data collected at Awash size and weight control station (were awash station is chosen from assessment based on the most heavily loaded vehicle count from the secondary data collected for different control stations in Ethiopia). In conclusion, about 48% of the examined axles were overloaded and among these 56% of the axles were on the margins from the specified legal load (i.e. in between 10.1 – 12ton) were tolerance of these loads was also observed at the control station. An overlay thickness was also estimated to show that the considered pavement after some years of service will require unexpected maintenance in order to carry the additional loads due to overloading. Therefore from the results of the analysis, it is seen that the effect of overloading on the life of pavements as well as on rehabilitation expenses will be severe and needs strict awareness so that road defects / distresses due to overloading will be minimized.



Road and Transport Engineering