Soft Shoulder Reinforcement

Posted on December 23, 2014 · Posted in Purus updates

The European way of road building often includes using the Ecoraster for soft shoulder reinforcement. When non curbed asphalt roads are used the edges of the roads are subjected to wear and tear. Most often, especially in North America, the roadsides are dirt or gravel. Cars and trucks will often veer off the road, compacting the unsupported side. This compaction leads to a height deviation that can be very dangerous. The more dramatic the deviation, the more challenging it is for a car leaving the road accidentally to get back into the lane safely. The roadside edges start to degrade, which is increased by the freeze-thaw cycle. Water running off the roads creeps underneath the pavement edges, and weakens the asphalt edges. The edges break off compromising the integrity of the roads. Maintenance crews are constantly repairing the asphalt edges and adding to the unsupported shoulders to level the height differential. This is costly and time consuming.

When Ecoraster is used as soft shoulder reinforcement, it becomes the first level of infiltration for rain water leaving the road. It percolates through the permeable grid system allowing the water to re enter the ground rather than creep underneath the asphalt edges, saving the asphalt. Ecoraster reinforced shoulders eliminate the compaction of the ground and the resulting height deviation. Ecoraster helps to maintain a level surface, increasing the safety for drivers. It also acts as a rumble strip to warn drivers when they begin to leave the lane. Roadways throughout Europe use Ecoraster reinforced shoulders to widen narrow roads in a green manner. The European roads are narrow and if there is a need to divert around an area for construction or due to a road closure, the reinforced areas can be used safely for drivers and without damage to the ground. There are many test areas throughout Europe in which one side of the roadway is reinforced with Ecoraster and one isn’t. Within 6 months to a year, the side without the grid is in need of repair and the Ecoraster supported side is unaffected. Municipalities recognize the importance and cost saving benefits of Ecoraster immediately and are including it in their road designs.