Mumbai: BMC experiments with four mixes to fix potholes for better roads in city

Civic body to rely on rain forecast for next week to gauge efficacy

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Friday, July 22, 2022, 10:50 PM IST
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BMC is converting asphalt roads into concrete ones to fix pothole problem | BL Soni

The road department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) experimented with four types of pothole filling technologies on the Anik-Wadala Road on Friday evening. The heavy rainfall expected next week will show the results of each technology.

The most effective one will be used for filling potholes in the future. The road belongs to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and will soon be taken over by the BMC. The BMC has also decided to survey roads before the next monsoon season to identify and repair bad patches of roads.

Potholes have developed on several roads after heavy rains last week. Currently, the civic body uses either cold mix technology or paver blocks to repair potholes. However, the chemical aesthetics applied on roads get washed during the heavy downpour. As a result, the BMC has decided to improve on the current methods used for filling the road craters.

Accordingly, potholes at four different patches on Anik-Wadala road were filled with geo-polymers, paver blocks, rapid hardening concrete and M60 concrete, respectively, to compare and gauge their effectiveness.

“The road is under MMRDA and we have started the process to overtake it which will be completed by October this year. So we experimented with four different technologies to fill the potholes on this road. Mumbai roads experience heavy traffic daily, so we need a technology that will dry fast and last long,” deputy municipal commissioner (infrastructure) Ulhas Mahale said, adding that the heavy rain expected next week will help ascertain which technology is most effective.

The cold-mix technology used at present to fill potholes on asphalt roads is effective but it needs to dry quickly. When the potholes are filled, traffic immediately pulls out the material in the pothole as it doesn't get adequate time to set. Potholes filled with paver blocks were also effective and could last longer.

“However, the technology failed because it was used on every road,” said a civic official. The city has a road network of 2,055 km, of it, 1,030 are concrete roads.

Tech used in the experiment:

* A pothole near Bhakti Park junction was filled using geo polymer technology. It takes two hours for the material to set and traffic can be started immediately on the road. The cost of this technology is Rs 5000 per sq mtr.

* The tried and tested paver block technology was once again used on one of the patches near Daya Shankar Chowk. It costs Rs 600 per sq mtr and lasts long, civic officials claim.

* Pothole near pillar no. 333 near Daya Shankar Chowk (below the Eastern Freeway) was filled with rapid hardening concrete. It takes six hours to dry the material and it works out to Rs 23,000 per cubic metre.

*Pothole near pillar no. 334 near Daya Shankar Chowk was filled with M60 concrete which takes six days to dry. So the patch filled with this material will be covered with a steel plate till the time it sets and will be closed for traffic until then. It costs around Rs 6,000 to 8000 to use the material, excluding the cost of steel plates.

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