A first in Maharashtra, PWD constructs Palghar road using pinewood
A small patch of the World Bank-funded Palghar-Mahim highway was chosen for the trial
For the first time in Maharashtra, the public works department (PWD) in Palghar district constructed a road entirely out of pinewood pulp cellulose, as part of a pilot project.
Officials said an Andheri firm had approached the PWD in 2008, seeking to construct a road with waste pinewood pulp cellulose, mixed with bitumen and stones. The construction was carried out using a technology known as stone matrix asphalt (SMA), which was approved by the Indian Road Congress, the apex body of highway engineers.
A small patch of the World Bank-funded Palghar-Mahim highway was chosen for the trial.
“We told the PWD that we would provide them with a state-of-the-art technology to construct the road. The officials were sceptical at first, but after we gave them a presentation, they gave us the go-ahead. We decided to construct the road on a small part of the highway as heavy traffic passes through that area,” said Porus Bhatt, director,Genesis Infra Project Consultants.
SMA technology is used in Europe, Russia, China, Germany, Brazil and Sri Lanka. Also, a few It requires either waste pinewood or bamboo pulp cellulose, which is taken from the bark of the trees, said Bhatt. He added that the roads in Mumbai and other metropolises are constructed using inferior quality stones and bitumen, which results in potholes surfacing on the streets.
“There is no question of potholes surfacing when SMA technology is used. We use big stones, bitumen and a mixture of pulp and hydrated lime, which acts as a binder. This prevents the road from ‘bleeding’ for at least five years. Roads ‘bleed’ when bitumen leaks through the stones due to poor construction techniques, pressure from vehicles or adverse weather conditions,” he said.
Bhatt added that a rise in underground water levels also results in potholes. He however, added that the new roads are able to circumvent this problem.“We mix the pulp fiber with the bitumen, creating a strong bond. The result is that the road resembles a tarmac or a runway,” said Bhatt.
“As the pinewood cellulose was imported from Europe, we are trying to find how we can get pulp. This will reduce the cost. We are considering introducing this technology in other parts of Palghar too,” said Rahul Vasaikar,