Concrete stones (Adoquines) seem to be a solution for road paving in developing nations
Adoquin paving is a technique of road surfacing that is both efficient and sustainable. The process uses small blocks of pre-cast concrete called “Adoquin” to create the road surface. This a simple and inexpensive method for a more useable surface than gravel and for less money than asphalt.
Reports from Haiti suggest that the Adonquin style of paving is being used as a part of a larger reconstruction project within the country. Concrete paving has a proven history of sustainability in the industrialized nations of the world, so doing a “hybrid” version in Haiti seems like a good investment.
One of the extra benefits of using Adonquines is the amount of labor that is consumed in producing each mile of roadway. With the high unemployment rates in Haiti, this style of paving should be of great interest to those who are exploring economic advancements for the people. This construction process is a perfect fit for a country that needs to develop a better concrete supply chain. These blocks are just one more product that can be locally produced in small facilities by semi-skilled workers.
The problem is that Aonquin paving “stones” need to be made from very strong concrete in order to withstand the repeated compressive impact of road traffic. If produced correctly the blocks will last a lifetime, if done wrong then Haiti will have more concrete rubble to deal with. With a good concrete production system the manufacturing of adoquin should be a boon to local business people and a benefit to the country’s road system.
When this paving practice is done correctly the maintenance costs for the road is dramatically lower than other modern paving surfaces like asphalt or solid concrete roadways. A 2009 World Bank study found that paving stones have a lower annualized maintenance cost per km than asphalt, solid concrete and even gravel. In addition, the road surfaces are smoother than earth or gravel and remain passable even in bad weather.
These small concrete blocks represent just one more way that concrete can assist in the Haitian recovery. It is our plan to see that developing nations like Haiti have the best possible solutions for applying concrete to their infrastructure.
What other solid ideas do you have to share for Haiti’s road to success?