Comparative Analysis of Effects of Heavy Vehicles on Roads in Southern and Northern Nigeria
1Osadebe, C. C. and 2Quadri, H. A.
1,2Road Research Department, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
The prevalence of flexible pavement deterioration in the country has been adduced largely by highway researchers to trucks or heavy vehicles carrying much in excess of permitted legal limits. This study investigated levels of deterioration of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road (Northern region) and Port Harcourt-Enugu road (Southern region) caused by heavy vehicles through a 14 day traffic counts conducted at 5 strategic points each in the Northern and Southern regions. Traffic data generated were analyzed with AASHTO Design Guidelines (1993) to evaluate Equivalent Single Axle Loads (ESALs) and Vehicle Damage effects on the road. The Traffic Volume, Average Daily Traffic (ADT), and Heavy Vehicle per day (HV/day) were estimated to be 2,063,977; 147,427; and 12,246 respectively in the Northern region, while in the Southern region they were estimated to be 750,381; 53,670; and 20,951 respectively. Motorcycles, Passenger cars, Mini-buses/Pick-ups, and Heavy vehicles constitute 18.7%, 49.7%, 23.3% and 8.31% of the total traffic volume respectively in the Northern region while in the South they constitute 4.6%, 30.1%, 26.2% and 39.1% respectively. ESALs were estimated according to AASHTO Design Guidelines in the Northern and Southern regions as 547,730 and 836,208 respectively. An average Load Equivalency Factors (LEFs) of 3.43 and 3.02 were estimated for each heavy vehicle plying the Northern and Southern roads respectively and this could explain some failures (alligator cracks, potholes, depressions, linear or longitudinal cracks along the centre line amongst others) inherent on the road.
Keywords: Flexible pavement deterioration, Traffic counts, Equivalent Single Axle Load (ESAL), Load Equivalency Factor (LEF).