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Premature Failure of Apedwa-Bunsu Junction Section of N6 in Ghana: Some Notes for Consideration
American Journal of Civil Engineering
Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2016, Pages: 84-91
Received: Apr. 13, 2016; Accepted: Apr. 25, 2016; Published: May 11, 2016
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Yaw Adubofour Tuffour, Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Nana Kwesi Agyepong, Materials Division, Ghana Highway Authority, Ministry of Roads and Highways, Accra, Ghana
Daniel Atuah Obeng, Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
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This study investigated premature and continual failure of the Apedwa-Bunsu Junction section of Route N6 in Ghana despite an earlier maintenance intervention which included geotextile installation and placement of a new wearing course. It involved a condition survey, density, asphalt content, gradation, stiffness modulus and Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) tests on the section. The condition survey revealed cracking (alligator, transverse and longitudinal), ravelling, potholes, rutting and shoving as the predominant defects on the road. The density tests on the bituminous layers revealed relative compaction levels which, in most cases, did not meet the minimum required by the technical specifications despite the additional densification by traffic. The poor compaction was corroborated by high pavement deflections from the FWD device. Asphalt cores revealed a friable dense bituminous macadam (DBM) layer although bitumen extraction tests indicated all design asphalt contents were met. Lack of inter-particle cohesion within the DBM layer was suggestive of stripping damage to the asphalt concrete. Some samples of the crushed rock base contained plastic fines and fines content that exceeded specification limits. High stiffness modulus values of the bituminous layers suggested possible premature aging of the asphalt binder which probably accelerated crack development. An earlier intervention in the form of placement of geotextile in the wearing course failed to arrest cracking because the material had been placed at a shallow depth rendering it ineffective. It was concluded that inadequate compaction of the bituminous layers and the use of crushed rock and other pavement materials that did not wholly meet the technical specifications were the root causes of the premature failure of the section.
Premature Failure, Compaction, Cracking, Relative Density, Rutting, Shoving
To cite this article
Yaw Adubofour Tuffour, Nana Kwesi Agyepong, Daniel Atuah Obeng, Premature Failure of Apedwa-Bunsu Junction Section of N6 in Ghana: Some Notes for Consideration, American Journal of Civil Engineering. Vol. 4, No. 3, 2016, pp. 84-91. doi: 10.11648/j.ajce.20160403.14
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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