Using local gravel sources and granular stabilisation for the production of pavement gravels in the Toowoomba region

Yin, Matthew (2011) Using local gravel sources and granular stabilisation for the production of pavement gravels in the Toowoomba region. [USQ Project]

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The Toowoomba Regional Council is a local government organisation, established by the Queensland State to deliver infrastructure and services to the community on a local and regional level. The construction and maintenance of local roads is a major responsibility of local government, essential for the safe and efficient carriage of people and goods.

Safety and efficiency in transport are facilitated by high quality road surfaces. The production of such a road requires that the materials used in its construction
are of the highest standards possible. However, local governments are publically funded; therefore the cost of materials is of significant consequence. The purpose
of this project is to conduct a review of the current road building practices, quality assurance procedures and the feasibility of local gravel materials as an economical alternative to commercial gravels.

Current practices were assessed, indicating a lack of technical knowledge of local materials and a subsequent inability to support their use for road building
applications. Two thirds of the local road network in the Toowoomba Region is unsealed. Therefore, the literature review focussed on the quality assurance measures utilised in industry as benchmarks to recognise the road building
capabilities of potential materials for both sealed and unsealed road construction.

The project aimed to provide important technical information regarding the mechanical properties of locally produced road building materials, including the
material qualities of both standalone and granular stabilised gravel products and the feasibility of stabilisation techniques employed; to identify reasonable
solution pathways to improve the Toowoomba Regional Council’s road building processes.

The study focussed on the Crow’s Nest district of the TRC and the concepts shown may be investigated and applied to other districts. Firstly, the material properties of locally sourced gravels were evaluated using material property standards and guidelines used within the local road building industry. Once the individual gravel material properties had been determined, a design aid was
adopted to evaluate a series of potential granular stabilised products using combinations of the standalone sources. Feasibility considerations highlight the
factors affecting the sustainability of producing a local gravel product.

The results of this study found 11 gravel products, including both standalone and stabilised, suitable for unsealed road construction and 13 suitable for sealed road
construction, pursuant to some further testing. The feasibility considerations highlighted the potential costs and benefits of local gravel production, where further investigation will provide more conclusive economical indicators.

The processes used in this investigation may be further developed for the concept to form the cornerstone of a region wide gravel analysis programme for the construction and maintenance of a good quality local road network.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Ayers, Ron; Pijpers, Jack; Ives, Cameron
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 02:59
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2013 02:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: pavement gravel, granular stabilisation
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400512 Transport engineering

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