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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Road construction and repairs

    I'm totally shot away with the way they construct roads and repair them here in Ting Tong land.
    First, I have to say the access to road building material, such as stone, is hit and miss. Especially around where I live in Buriram Province. It's all clay or that red volcanic grit that's only fit for growing cassava with. So yes their hands are tied, due to transport costs, with what they can use.
    So they lay soil (?) down as a base course, irrespective if it's swampy ground. And then they keep compacting with mechanical rollers until they get to the level required.
    Now come the rain season the roads become spongy and fail, in certain places, due to lack of a stone sub base. It always appears to be the same spots every year that fail. The solution is to excavate these individual areas and back-fill with large stone initially followed by smaller stone at the same time compacting before finishing with tar based material. That is another story.
    Anyways, why I'm writing this is cuz the numpties have been repairing this road every year since it was first built, god knows when? I've been traveling it 10+ years and it's the same same every year.
    After the rains finish they bring in a scarifier. That connects up to a cement powder tanker in front. The cement powder is pumped into the scarifier as it crawls along and mixed with the scarified tarmac and relayed out the rear of the scarifier. That is then rolled and compacted before being overlaid in tarmac.
    But the fcuking numpties will not dig out the soft spots that cause the problems. So round and round we go at great expense.

    Before. Old photo's







    After the scarifier has done its work and the cars have located the soft spots. These soft spots will be re-rolled and tarmaced.





    The scarifier. The blue pipe connect to a cement powder tanker which travels in front.

    Last edited by Pragmatic; 25-11-2016 at 12:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Looks like the same type of equipment my mate Steve used to supervise in Indonesia.



    I think as you say they have to dig out or stabilize the soft spots before resurfacing.

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    Newbie dorch's Avatar
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    apart from your theory of availabilty of suitable materials can you think of anything else that might contribute to this totally inferior system ? maybe i could hint its called top pocket

  4. #4
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    ^ concrete roads are the way to go in Thai
    flexible road construction is abysmal

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    I'm totally shot away with the way they construct roads and repair them here in Ting Tong land.
    First, I have to say the access to road building material, such as stone, is hit and miss. Especially around where I live in Buriram Province. It's all clay or that red volcanic grit that's only fit for growing cassava with. So yes their hands are tied, due to transport costs, with what they can use.
    So they lay soil (?) down as a base course, irrespective if it's swampy ground. And then they keep compacting with mechanical rollers until they get to the level required.
    Now come the rain season the roads become spongy and fail, in certain places, due to lack of a stone sub base. It always appears to be the same spots every year that fail. The solution is to excavate these individual areas and back-fill with large stone initially followed by smaller stone at the same time compacting before finishing with tar based material. That is another story.
    Anyways, why I'm writing this is cuz the numpties have been repairing this road every year since it was first built, god knows when? I've been traveling it 10+ years and it's the same same every year.
    After the rains finish they bring in a scarifier. That connects up to a cement powder in front. The cement powder is pumped into the scarifier as it crawls along and mixed with the scarified tarmac and relayed out the rear of the scarifier. That is then rolled and compacted before being overlaid in tarmac.
    But the fcuking numpties will not dig out the soft spots that cause the problems. So round and round we go at great expense.

    Before. Old photo's







    After the scarifier has done its work and the cars have located the soft spots. These soft spots will be re-rolled and tarmaced.





    The scarifier. The blue pipe connect to a cement powder tanker which travels in front.

    I worked in the road construction industry in the US for 17 years, your point about the soft spots in the sub grade are correct, however the problem we have hear in the Nakhon Sawan area are the grossly over weight trucks hauling sugar cane.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPETER65
    in the Nakhon Sawan area are the grossly over weight trucks hauling sugar cane.
    It's not just your area that trucks/vehicles are overladen, but that should be taken into consideration when building roads here. But if you look at the picture below you'll see the scarified material is only mm thick and isn't acceptable to even take light traffic.


  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbobs
    concrete roads are the way to go in Thai flexible road construction is abysmal
    Only providing the concrete is laid to specification, which is highly unlikely. When working with concrete or tarmac to construct roads etc slump tests have to be taken on site on batches of material. I've never seen it.
    Thais just love to pour as much water into their concrete as they can as it's easy to push it around. Too much water and the stone sinks to the bottom leaving sand on the upper surface which wears away within a short period of time.

    Procedure of Concrete Slump test:

    1. The mold for the slump test is a frustum of a cone, 300 mm (12 in) of height. The base is 200 mm (8in) in diameter and it has a smaller opening at the top of 100 mm (4 in).
    2. The base is placed on a smooth surface and the container is filled with concrete in three layers, whose workability is to be tested .
    3. Each layer is temped 25 times with a standard 16 mm (5/8 in) diameter steel rod, rounded at the end.
    4. When the mold is completely filled with concrete, the top surface is struck off (leveled with mould top opening) by means of screening and rolling motion of the temping rod.
    5. The mould must be firmly held against its base during the entire operation so that it could not move due to the pouring of concrete and this can be done by means of handles or foot - rests brazed to the mould.
    6. Immediately after filling is completed and the concrete is leveled, the cone is slowly and carefully lifted vertically, an unsupported concrete will now slump.
    7. The decrease in the height of the center of the slumped concrete is called slump.
    8. The slump is measured by placing the cone just besides the slump concrete and the temping rod is placed over the cone so that it should also come over the area of slumped concrete.
    9. The decrease in height of concrete to that of mould is noted with scale. (usually measured to the nearest 5 mm (1/4 in).

  8. #8
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    Road construction around Udon is the same as described above. A new road was built around part of Udon a couple of years ago. It all took quite awhile and wound up being a fairly nice asphalt surface. Problem was that after about a year and so many overweight trucks, it started to become rutted. It has progessively become a road which is now full of uneven patches and ruts. There are several things that contributed to its current condition and some have already been mentioned.
    1. Wrong construction method.
    2. Inferior or wrong materials used.
    3. Incorrect asphalt formula.
    4. Cutting corners to save money.
    5. Over weight trucks.
    6. Lack of truck weight regulators in the area.

    A couple of other factors must be thrown in the mix. One is creating jobs for the Thai workers to keep them busy and employed. Another is the construction jobs going to those who pay the highest bribes. Neither of these issues is confined to Thailand and exists in many other countries. The final result is an inferior road with no longevity and numerous half attempts of repair leaving shit roads that drivers must contend with.

    Until all these factors are eliminated, the country will never have good roads. In other words, not in my lifetime.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbobs View Post
    ^ concrete roads are the way to go in Thai
    flexible road construction is abysmal
    Sounds great in theory, Jimbo.
    But as you might know, concrete/cement tends to be much more expensive and harder to come by for extensive public projects.....that's why one will find common asphalt or a metal/tar mix for roading material the most desirable worldwide.

    There's only so much processed cement products to go around and dearer to the purse - used in other capacities.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme
    But as you might know, concrete/cement tends to be much more expensive and harder to come by for extensive public projects.
    Correct Jeff. And more labour intensive if done correctly. The only major road made of good quality, sections, I know of is the 304 from Korat to Chok Chai. Which was built by the US military. The road was a link to Pattaya and beyond.

  11. #11
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    Can I join this whine thread?

    New impressive 4 lane highway Krabi- Huai Yot...About two months after it was finished a 50+ metre section of one lane collapsed into adjacent low lying jungle.

    Oh BTW did I mention the frickin road past our farm..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Anyways, why I'm writing this is cuz the numpties have been repairing this road every year since it was first built, god knows when?

    But the fcuking numpties will not dig out the soft spots that cause the problems. So round and round we go at great expense.
    And the inflated contract gets issued to repair it every year. Kickbacks all round. Everybody happy and productive, except the whining farang.

  13. #13
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    There is a lot of road widening going on around here. Most of the land for widening is coming from the appx. 10M on each side of existing roads that the government owns for power line easement. A lot of this land has been farmed, illegally and a lot of it has been natural drainage area. The government comes in and clears and prepares the land which requires a lot of fill. I suppose a lot of problems are arising from inadequately preparing the unstable land they are building the roads on.
    This post has not been authorized by the TeakDoor censorship committee.

  14. #14
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    And the inflated contract gets issued to repair it every year. Kickbacks all round. Everybody happy and productive, except the whining farang.
    Agree. Standard cycle but after a visit to US last year the roads in Thailand are better than in many areas in the US.

  15. #15
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    They do not install drainage in most of the roads here, that combined with no properly prepared road base causes 99% of the problems.
    I have noticed that around Khao lak they seem to be installing drainage in some sections of road which they have to relay every year

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    And the inflated contract gets issued to repair it every year. Kickbacks all round. Everybody happy and productive, except the whining farang.
    Agree. Standard cycle but after a visit to US last year the roads in Thailand are better than in many areas in the US.
    Now you are just being silly, or maybe you were in the deep south driving hillbilly roads.

  17. #17
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    Anyone interested in a long term survey could look at the doubling of the 331 out of Sattahip.

    Two lanes built by the US military during Vietnam war to move equipment from U-Tapao up north and the other section last year by some anonymous Thai contractor.

    Time will tell.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    Now you are just being silly
    Nope. Roads around and through northern CA coastal area are in bad shape.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    except the whining farang.
    I'm not really moaning. I'm just trying to bump the construction forum that TD was once highly noted for.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme
    Sounds great in theory, Jimbo. But as you might know, concrete/cement tends to be much more expensive and harder to come by for extensive public projects.....that's why one will find common asphalt or a metal/tar mix for roading material the most desirable worldwide. There's only so much processed cement products to go around and dearer to the purse - used in other capacities.
    Not to mention the concrete dust that gets into the atmosphere as the road wears.

  21. #21
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    Northern California coastal roads seemed fine a couple of years ago when visiting Eureka. As always, there was road maintenance and construction during the summer months. I-5 seemed fine when I was driving south friom Portland to Sacramento. I guess you just need to be more specific with highway numbers and towns. I saw a lot of road construction and maintenance going on and the building methods were much better than seen in Thailand. The roads last much longer than a year unlike here when they become rutted from overloaded trucks. Several weigh stations all along US highways to regulate truck loads.

    So you see why I thought you were being a bit silly Mr. Norton?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg
    except the whining farang.
    I'm not really moaning. I'm just trying to bump the construction forum that TD was once highly noted for.
    Yeah - was not really being specific towards you. I have gone the same route. "Why the f*ck can't they fix it properly", and the response was "Because Somchai likes to have income every year. If he does it properly, he will be out a job".

  23. #23
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    be more specific with highway numbers and towns
    County roads are the main bad ones. Popholes abound. Problem CA has is funding for local road maintenance is way below what is needed. CA has one of the highest taxes and has near the worst roads in the US. Sonoma county roads for example are shite.

    California is known for its car culture. But it turns out those wheels are rolling over some of the worst roads in the nation. A recent study ranked California 49th out of the 50 states for the quality of its pavement. New Jersey came in last. But California has the distinction of having the nation's worst roads in urban areas.

    Golden State Highways Are A California Nightmare : NPR

  24. #24
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    I'm not really moaning. I'm just trying to bump the construction forum that TD was once highly noted for.
    And one reason I joined this forum. But after years of reading some construction threads it became embarrassing (this one for example).

    One of the (handful) of licenses I used to carry was an Engineering Contractors license (roads and bridges).

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    One of the (handful) of licenses I used to carry was an Engineering Contractors license (roads and bridges).
    Why don't you add something useful then instead of calling the thread 'embarrassing'? It seems to be the norm these days with posters being critical rather than contributing to a thread. May be time to move on?

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