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Old 3rd January 2018, 17:50   #1
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Default Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

The whole traffic situation in Bangalore hit an all-time low with the 'White topping' of roads. Several sections on important roads are closed down to convert existing tarmac stretches (or whatever was left of it) into concrete roads. The whole timing and urgency of the project makes me wonder about its original motive.

Do the members here think this is actually a good thing to put an end to the pothole menace of Bangalore roads or a gimmick?

The pros I see:
- Might last slightly longer than asphalt before the first damage.

Cons:
- Tough to repair
- Water drainage during rains can pose a serious issue to two wheelers.
- Two wheeler falls will result in more serious injuries given the hard surface.

Given the track record of projects, it had always been 90% initiation and 10% maintenance. Whereas it has to be the other way round.

Please share your experiences and knowledge.

Regards,
Subramanyam
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Old 3rd January 2018, 18:18   #2
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

Am not sure but my understanding is this white topping aka adding concrete layer is to strengthen the base layer and this would be covered with regular tarred top layer? If that is the case, issue with grip and comfortable road surface is taken care of.

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th January 2018 at 15:04. Reason: Typo, as per RP.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 18:40   #3
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Am not sure but my understanding is this white topping aka adding concrete layer is to strengthen the base layer and this would be covered with regular tarred top layer? If that is the case, issue with grip and comfortable road surface is taken care off.
There is no top asphalt layer. Some of the white topped sections of ring road are open to public already. It is just concrete.

Regards,
Subramanyam
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Old 3rd January 2018, 18:52   #4
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

I am seriously disappointed with this entire episode of white topping - a.k.a concrete topping of roads. I believe the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.

Advantages -

1. Extended life of roads (provided, nobody digs up + if dug up - it is repaired well).
2. None!


Disadvantages -
1. Cost - almost 10 times that of normal asphalt. (That should clear any doubts of we being a poor country!).

2. Road grip and safety. Particularly with wide spread construction, dust / sand / small particulate tend to make concrete surfaces lot more slippery.

3. Rains - Water clogging. Remember monsoons 2017? Half of Bengaluru was submerged with water not finding a way out. Concrete roads do not facilitate ground water absorption.

4. Far more difficult to repair + cannot expect uniform surface after repair. (Given the shoddy nature of work that has become a norm!).

5. Raises suspicion of kickbacks in contracts awarded. On the backdrop of 'steel-flyover-beda' protests. Massive protests lead to cancelling of a steel flyover. Now, barely 6 months before elections this exercise, that cost 10 times that of normal asphalting raises suspicions.

6. Life would/could have been good with a simple relaying of asphalt surface. Roads would have survived 3 - 5 years. And given the rate of redesigning (a full fledged flyover will be bought down in the next 3 months), you never know, a white topped road might have to be dug up for metro / gas pipe line / drain pipe line / I am getting bored, so lets dig up work.

7. Finally, why are roads in good condition being ripped out and white topped. And not roads that are pretty bad!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Am not sure but my understanding is this white topping aka adding concrete layer is to strengthen the base layer and this would be covered with regular tarred top layer? If that is the case, issue with grip and comfortable road surface is taken care off.
Nope. Concrete is the only layer. There will be no asphalt on it.

Last edited by OrangeCar : 3rd January 2018 at 18:54. Reason: grown water --> ground water
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Old 3rd January 2018, 19:30   #5
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

Firstly thanks for creating a separate thread for this 'issue'. This was popping its head in and out of the 'Rants' thread.

To put it mildly, it has created absolute havoc with vehicles squeezing into service roads half the size of the main roads and in pathetic condition. The pile up starts about a kilometre ahead of the diversion with huge trailers and trucks struggling to enter and exit the service roads.

Is it short term pain for long term gain? As others have put it, a good coat of asphalt would have been just fine .
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Old 3rd January 2018, 21:40   #6
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

The stretch that is open from Hennur upto Horamavu junction has no water outlets at all. hopefully that will make some holes later, but if it rains today, we are literally hosed.

AFAIK, the cost of inconvenience is just not worth it. In anycase, some digging will happen and at that time, this is going to be a major problem

raghu
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Old 4th January 2018, 08:54   #7
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

Bombay has a lot of concrete roads and they are building more all the time.

Some pros:
  1. Given Bombay is literally switching from paver blocks to concrete the change is welcome.
  2. Lesser potholes/harder wearing.

Some cons:
  1. Time to implement is large. Concrete needs at least 21 days to cure.
  2. Most concrete roads do not have proper drainage systems built, so is likely to disintegrate over time.
  3. leftmost side is left without paving or with bricks, this is taken as an official parking spot as its no longer a road.
  4. Harsher ride.
  5. Huge cost to lay down and repair.
  6. In case of potholes on concrete you can write off your tires and bones in case of two wheelers.

In all, it is an expensive option, with no definitive advantage over tarred roads.

Also, don't know in case of Bangalore, but in Bombay many good roads were dug up to lay concrete. Definitely corruption at work again.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:54   #8
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

It is not concrete. It is reinforced Concrete. One cannot dig this. It requires concrete breakers and cannot be dug easily or quickly. That is definitely an advantage.
If we assume the concrete mix is of good quality, the road will be good for many years.

However, I think we should now enforce speed limits due to reduced road grip. Especially during the rain. White topping is no place for a two wheeler.

Last edited by madhavgpai : 4th January 2018 at 10:01. Reason: Clarity improved
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Old 4th January 2018, 11:42   #9
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

In Pune or rather my side of Pune, majority of roads are concrete.

In addition to the benefits and disadvantages mentioned by BHPians:
  • Don't get damaged in heavy rain, but results in sever water clogging, if drainage systems are not well designed
  • Hard to break the surface, which is a good thing
  • Concrete does not absorb heat, hence in due course, the surface becomes uneven, joint areas will have huge cracks
  • Utterly bad ride, anything above 40 and car would wobble because of uneven surface
  • A lot increase in tyre noise
  • Repairing would be a farce. Ideal repairing would involve in breaking the entire concrete area and relaying concrete again. But what they do here is, fill up with tar. Tar does not mix with concrete; hence these patches would work as auxiliary support to the already monstrous speed breakers .
  • If they are going to add those plastic coats to make it look smooth, then God save you, because neither all disc setup not ABS would able to save you from skidding in rain.
Just imagine driving on your rooftop, you would have similar feeling.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:07   #10
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

I have a very bad feeling about the outcome of this White Topping Exercise in Bangalore.
First of all, the whole experience is harrowing. We dont feel like getting out on the roads. We dont know which roads are blocked. its like a new challenge everyday.
Now, my main concern (in addition to the pros and cons mentioned by other users) is GRIP. I have ridden/driven on many concrete roads and trust me, if there is presence of a little bit of mud or gravel, the roads become extremely slippery and dangerous.
I can guarantee that 99% of the population are unaware of this and when they see new roads, they might overspeed and end up in the ER.
Saving the discussions of grip during rainy days for another rainy day.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:29   #11
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by subramanyam84 View Post
Do the members here think this is actually a good thing to put an end to the pothole menace of Bangalore roads or a gimmick?
If this is done right, should serve the city for 15-20 years with light maintenance from time to time. But it will never be done right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCar View Post
5. Raises suspicion of kickbacks in contracts awarded. On the backdrop of 'steel-flyover-beda' protests. Massive protests lead to cancelling of a steel flyover. Now, barely 6 months before elections this exercise, that cost 10 times that of normal asphalting raises suspicions.
7. Finally, why are roads in good condition being ripped out and white topped. And not roads that are pretty bad!
Valid points. Kickbacks are probably the main reason for such work. The folks in power have invested a lot of money and now need to recover those + portray development before the elections.


Quote:
Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
Given Bombay is literally switching from paver blocks to concrete the change is welcome.

In all, it is an expensive option, with no definitive advantage over tarred roads.
Compared to paver blocks, I'll even take the dirt roads. Anything is better than that menace. Concrete roads are supposed to be long lasting and cost effective over time, but that way people in power and the contractors won't get any money. So on one pretext or the other, they will always find ways to dig up something which is perfectly good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetrolRider View Post
[*]Hard to break the surface, which is a good thing
Yes, but the concrete is never laid all to the edges of the road. Some space is always left beside it which is dug up / spoilt etc.

Both tar and concrete roads, if done fine, should be ok. But it is never the case. I remember when the main Vashi-Koperkhairane road was being dug up to be concretised, it took them almost one month to get it done. Road signs, painting etc. must have taken another week or two. After that, immediately, the edges were dug by MTNL to lay telephone lines. It was done in some days and shoddily covered up - resulting in an uneven surface. A few weeks after than, Mahanagar Gas dug up the same stretch to lay gas pipelines. What plain stupidity is this? Couldn't they have co-ordinated all the work to be done at the same time? This simply resulted in a lot of work, which could have been avoided.
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Old 4th January 2018, 13:15   #12
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

Before the actual white topping "bhagya" caught the public eye and caught them literally unawares, a white-topped road existed in the city, the road from St. John's Hospital junction to Madiwala Total Mall. The ride was bumpy, the underpass always leaked water in rains and the biggest bane was that the finishing at either ends of the underpass were improper and I have seen debris lying by the side at times.

Now we as a city do not see rain spells as much as a Mumbai to necessitate an entire white topping exercise and a good amount of asphalt/tar would've held for a good 15 years; the roads in Jayanagar being the perfect example for it. What it has done is increase the traffic burden on existing commuters around ORR, Tin Factory and Koramangala (Rants of Bangalore traffic thread has enough proof) and with Metro phase-3 work beginning on the very same roads (I'm not even going to talk about BWSSB digging up the road for Cauvery Phase-2,3,4, GAIL digging up roads for piped gas and BSNL for its works), I do not see any benefit in this white topping.

P.S. The road that I mentioned in the first paragraph has now received a plastic coat. Premonition for the future, maybe.
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Old 4th January 2018, 15:39   #13
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead148 View Post
a white-topped road existed in the city, the road from St. John's Hospital junction to Madiwala Total Mall.
That is the paradox of the whole thing. I remember, this stretch was sponsored by some cement manufacturer lobby to showcase how good concrete roads are. Unfortunately, within some 7 years of opening of the road the surface is redone now. We have another thread explaining the same here (APP Membrane waterproofing sheets on Bangalore roads. Why?).

Leave the concrete option, even a properly done tar/ asphalt surface should last the same.
May be we can get solace from the fact that, if that surface was asphalted we may have had multiple 'pot hole fixing exercises' and related traffic snarls.

Quote:
Now we as a city do not see rain spells as much as a Mumbai to necessitate an entire white topping exercise and a good amount of asphalt/tar would've held for a good 15 years; the roads in Jayanagar being the perfect example for it.
Yes. Your comment points to two issues.
A decent asphalting work + proper drainage.

Inspite of its problems, Jayanagar is one of the best planned layouts in India. Thanks to decent bunch of engineers and town planners of yesteryears. Typical issues which say KR Puram or Silkboard faces (water-logging, heavy vehicle movement etc) are not frequent in Jayanagar. Hence road life will be better there compared to other places for sure.

Even on ORR, there are asphalted sections which are holding good since past 6 or 7 years in spite of the traffic.

Ideally, they should have limited white topping only to junctions and left rest of the roads as it is. This would have saved time and money. Now, they have put themselves in an embarrassing position.

Last edited by ampere : 4th January 2018 at 15:52. Reason: typo fixed
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Old 4th January 2018, 16:11   #14
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
I remember, this stretch was sponsored by some cement manufacturer lobby to showcase how good concrete roads are.
How can I forget that. After all, I have been commuting through this 'world class' road ever since it was thrown open to public after ACC did this road for free to show case the longevity and ironically, the underpass was closed at least thrice for repairs in last 7 years alone!

Quote:
Mr. Yeddyurappa said that several cement companies had evinced interest in a tie-up with the BBMP to concrete main roads. The project would be implemented through public-private partnership. “Though the cost of concreting the roads is about 20 per cent higher than asphalting, it is long lasting,” he said.

White-topping of roads had been implemented in Mumbai. “On an experimental basis, the Cement Manufacturers' Association has ‘white-topped' a 350-metre stretch near the Madiwala junction. The project has been executed by them free of cost.
Source
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Old 4th January 2018, 16:29   #15
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Default re: Boon or bane: White concrete topping of Bangalore roads

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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
How can I forget that. After all, I have been commuting through this 'world class' road ever since it was thrown open to public after ACC did this road for free to show case the longevity and ironically, the underpass was closed at least thrice for repairs in last 7 years alone!

Source
They mention 20% higher, whereas the whitetopping is being done at 13 times the cost of asphalt.
Where are the economics, what a waste of money and resources. And what an inconvenience they put the honest tax payers to.
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