India Abandons Asphalt

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India Abandons Asphalt

India’s business newspaper and online news source. Transport minister Nitin Gadkari announced the switch to concrete last week. The ministry has also changed the model for assessing the project cost. Projects will now be evaluated on the basis of the life-cycle cost of the project rather than the initial cost of construction.

“So, the consultant will now evaluate the project on the basis of the cost over the life cycle of the project instead of how much it would cost to construct it, which means incorporating the maintenance cost of the project,” Gadkari told Livemint.

As you might expect from the world’s second most populous country, India is struggling to maintain and expand its infrastructure. Even in a booming world economy, India would have to rely on every possible measure to save costs while delivering better value to their citizens. The shift from the short-term, low bidder model, to the longer-term cost of lifecycle model will produce marginally higher cost in the short-term, but substantial savings overall. Concrete lasts longer than asphalt and reduces overall maintenance costs. The concrete products industry estimates that by utilizing concrete, countries like India would save billions on roads built between from 2009 to 2015, based on the overall lifetime costs of the roads.

So asphalt is out and concrete is in. All new road construction projects in the pipeline, say Indian officials, will be concrete if the cost of construction is not more than 20% higher than asphalt.