I love roads.
I enjoy watching road crews in China build the fantastic highway infrastructure they have. Some of those sections in Shenzhen, literally got built before my eyes. I really really appreciate a good road.
1. National Highways. They see maintenance frequently...
2. State Highways. Meh.. hit and miss..
3. Municipal Roads...the last mile.. They get remade once in 5 years. The years between the rebuilt they see some attempts at repair.
There is a strange consensus in the Municipal Buildings and Roads Engineering Department..."The rain and snow destroys the road.. Shimla roads are to be attempted to be fixed..but never expected to be totally usable...."
The current repair scenario is a HOT MIX. The Asphalt and aggregate is heated up, mixed and laid on the road. Due to the infrastructure involved, a pothole is not enough to launch a team. It needs to get really bad before anyone can step in. It also needs clear weather and heat to set properly. The window of work in Shimla that meets all these conditions is a couple of months a year.
I wanted to crack this problem. How can we repair roads under all weather conditions ?
Enter Prof. Kandhal. (thank you Google !) Professor Kandhal perfected the "cold" asphalt patch mix for the US highways Dept and has now relocated to Jaipur, India. He lobbied the Indian Road Congress ceaselessly and they have now adopted this cold patch as a standard in India.
Its a method to prepare a "mix" that can be stored for over 6 months in bags. When you get a call for a pothole, you take a bag, unload it in the pothole and tap it in.. He needs the highest civilian award possible for this folks.
Prof Kandhal instantly replied to my email, sent a colleague over to Shimla to give us a "Cold Patch Road Repair 101"
We have done several patches of road around our neighbourhood and are positioned to repairing roads during every weather condition to be able to demonstrate that the window for road repair is all year.
If successful we hope to provide a model to communities who want to help their roads.. if we can do it...so can they...