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Developing alternative construction and maintenance standards for efficient and justified investments in rural unpaved roads in Rwanda.

Show simple item record Rutagarama, Aimable 2017-05-25T06:11:09Z 2017-05-25T06:11:09Z 2013-12
dc.description Master's thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract Road transport is the most commonly used means of transport in Rwanda since the country is landlocked. Unpaved roads represent 78% of the whole classified Rwandan road network and the majority of the unpaved roads are located in remote rural areas with low to very low traffic volumes. Investments made in the construction and maintenance of unpaved low volume roads in Rwanda are subjected to big technical, financial, institutional and managerial challenges that need to be addressed in a special manner. A sustainable solution to these challenges is an unpaved road investment that would provide acceptable design standards suitable to Rwandan condition, cost effective, institutionally applicable and easy to maintain. The present research was about to identify the challenges that are being observed in the construction and maintenance of rural unpaved roads in Rwanda due to lack of proper project planning, poor policing and standardisation that leads sometimes to unjustified investments and no value for money due to the fact that construction and/or maintenance costs are very high and the traffic volume is very low. The specific objective of this research was to develop and propose alternative engineering design standards, policies and practices that are cost effective and suitable to local conditions for the construction and maintenance of unpaved low volume roads in Rwanda. The study was carried out using a series of methodological steps including data collection on traffic, geometric and structural design characteristics and construction costs on three case studied roads (National, District and unclassified roads). Data analysis in terms of investments efficiency compared to the resulting level of service was carried out using HDM-4. The results of analysis were then used to develop and propose alternative design standards and techniques for the construction and maintenance of low volume unpaved roads. The analysis of the gaps existing between the commonly used policies and practices in Rwanda and International Best Management Practices for the construction and maintenance of unpaved roads helped to develop and propose alternative institutional policing and practices to be adopted for effective and efficient investments in unpaved roads in Rwanda. The research has proved that widening the case studied unpaved roads results into increased Total Road Agency Costs and insignificantly decreased Total Road User Costs and, thus making higher Total Transport Costs compared to the base scenario of maintaining the existing unpaved road widths and finally leading to negative NPV and IRR. Negative values of these economic indicators show that all proposed projects of widening the three unpaved roads are not cost effective and not viable. By conducting sensitivity analysis, the main reason for cost ineffectiveness was found to be high initial investment costs related to the works of widening of roads together with high maintenance costs of such wide roads. Alternative road construction and maintenance techniques that can reduce Total Transport Costs like minimizing road width, avoiding steep road grade by selecting good location, providing adequate drainage system and surfacing unpaved road with gravel where it is necessary were found to be the best options for assuring good road condition, minimizing Road Agency costs and thus making investments economically viable. The research recommended among many others the following alternative practices and policies for appropriate maintenance management of unpaved roads: improved road surveys before designing: inspection during the rains to observe the movement of water, Study reviews before starting the works, decentralisation of unpaved road funding schemes, objective prioritization of road works by optimizing maintenance activities instead of constructing new roads, increasing road maintenance financing by creating additional sources of funds like road use charging where possible and complementing recurrent budget by development budgets. Further research using additional analysis tools like Road Economic Development was recommended. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Kigali Institute of Science and Technology en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Kigali Institute of Science and Technology en_US
dc.subject Rural roads--Design and construction--Rwanda en_US
dc.subject Roads--Design and construction--Government policy--Rwanda en_US
dc.subject Gravel roads--Maintenance and repair--Rwanda en_US
dc.title Developing alternative construction and maintenance standards for efficient and justified investments in rural unpaved roads in Rwanda. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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