Stabilization Techniques for Unpaved Roads

Report No: 04-R18

Published in 2004

About the report:

This study presents the basis for evaluating promising soil stabilization products using the relatively new technique of deeply mixing chemical additives into unpaved roadbeds. The work is in response to an amendment to House Bill 1400, Item 490, No. 1h, passed by Virginia's 2003 General Assembly, that called for the Virginia Transportation Research Council to "continue its evaluation of soil stabilizers as an alternative to paving low-volume secondary roads." This work is based on the construction of a 1.75-mile-long trial installation on Old Wheatland Road in Loudoun County wherein seven different commercially available stabilization products were applied to the unpaved road. A rigorous evaluation of treatment performance will provide the basis for recommendations to VDOT's operating divisions regarding improvements to the maintenance practices for gravel roads. Results thus far indicate that the introduction of soil stabilizers through deep mixing is promising. The life cycle cost analysis indicates that constructing a standard bituminous surface-treated roadway and maintaining it as such is much more cost-effective than using any of the products in this trial. Further, the analysis indicates the bituminous surface treatment alternative is also much more cost-effective than maintaining an unpaved road.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Thomas E. Freeman, William H. Bushman

Last updated: November 30, 2023

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