Performance assessment of the SMEC’S bituminous road surface dressing technology in Ghana

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Exclusive performance assessment of the SMEC’S Bituminous Surface Dressing Technology has not been conducted since the implementation in 1998. Field observations have indicated eight (8) measures of performance related to bituminous surface dressing in Ghana. These are (1) General structural condition, (2) Raveling, (3) Bleeding, (4) Excess chipping, (5) Joint condition, (6) potholes, (7) streaking, and (8) Surface uniformity. Thirty-eight performance influencing factors were identified in four (4) literary works and were used to explain the performance of the SMEC’s technology. The primary objective of this study was to assess the performance of the SMEC’s Bituminous Surface Dressing Technology which has been in use in Ghana since 1998. A road condition survey was undertaken by road engineers to identify and rate the eight identified measures of performance on twenty-four test sections in three randomly selected political regions namely Volta, Eastern and Ashanti. Test sections selected were four years old however, the terrain were slightly different. Evidence of potholes, lack of surface uniformity, raveling, and streaking were detected. Potholes were identified on almost all the test sections however the severity levels were low. Lack of surface uniformity was detected on most of the test sections. Raveling and streaking were also evident. Expertise of crew, Experience of contractor on similar projects, Average Least Dimension and Condition of plant were found to have influenced the performance. The research found out that generally, the performance of the SMEC technology was good. Nevertheless there were areas that require attention. The following recommendations were made for the consideration of Ghana Highway Authority: (i) There should be training and retraining of staff of contractors and the road agencies (ii) Bituminous dressing contracts should be separated from general road contracts to enable contractors specialize (iii) Quarries should be assisted to upgrade their equipment for better and sufficient products (iv) Contractor’s equipment should be inspected and calibrated periodically to ensure compliance with specification. (v) There should be the creation of Performance Monitoring Data Base for all bituminous roads in Ghana.
A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a degree of Master of Science in Construction Management, 2005