Towards Improved Infrastructure Design & Construction in Rough Terrain & Inclement Environments
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Infrastructural development is time consuming and costly, especially for highways in rugged mountainous terrains. Factors known to cause road blockage and damage in mountain regions include: flooding, mountainous debris, alluvial fan, road and drainage structure wash out, landslides and roadside slope failures. The situation is often exacerbated in developing countries where existing engineering hydrological, geological and geotechnical information is frequently limited or unavailable, aggravated further in some cases by the need to address ongoing or past conflict-zone mitigation measures. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh can be used to highlight the importance and need for engineering assessments applied to both new-build design specification as well as the rehabilitation of existing roads in mountain areas where roads are often severely impassable. In many cases only limited engineering assessments have been carried out prior to road construction; only a few of the potential hazards have been identified during project feasibility study and design phases. Resultantly, post construction (postoccupancy) failure occurs more frequently as a result of this lack of problem analysis. This ongoing early-stage project-work discusses the value in carrying out timely and appropriately scaled engineering assessments, as key contributions to the initial life-cycle design and early specification by investigation, analysis and mitigation of potential hazards in a structured and objective manner. Discussion is made of the initial stages in this research project that attempt to categorise variables deemed essential, desirable and useful for development of a specific civil engineering guideline for rough terrain road design.
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