How to Maintain Drainage Features for Safety

Ensuring that drainage features don’t present a safety hazard for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians is an important part of their maintenance.

Every part of a roadway should be built and maintained with the safety of those traveling upon it. Any feature that presents a safety hazard for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, either through poor planning or a failure in the feature, needs to be corrected and maintained. This includes drainage features, which can cause a lot of safety issues when they are ill-designed or malfunction.  Explore the key points in maintaining drainage features for the safety of everyone on the roadway. 

Key Points for Maintaining Safe Drainage Features

Drainage features on a roadway are meant to remove water from the roadway to make the roadway safer. However, drainage features can do the opposite, either through poor design or through malfunctioning. It’s important to properly maintain drainage feature so they do not compromise the safety of a roadway for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. 

Key points in managing drainage features for safety include:

  1. Replacing drainage features with dangerous designs. New drainage features are designed today to be low profile and to present as little danger to vehicles that might happen to drive over them, but that wasn’t always the case. Older drainage structures were high-profile and have the potential to damage vehicles that drive into or over them. Replacing these dangerous drainage features is a must.
  2. Fixing issues with standing water. There are many reasons why a roadway would have standing water. Ponding caused by wheel ruts in the pavement, water pooling around a plugged drain, and insufficient cross slope of a roadway to allow for drainage can all cause water to pool on the road. This can cause a vehicle to hydroplane or affect braking. Such drainage issues must be fixed to ensure the safety of the roadway.
  3. Ensuring drainage ditches are traversable. If a vehicle needs to leave the roadway suddenly, a steep, non-traversable ditch poses a danger to the vehicle because it can get stuck, drive into an embankment, etc. A shallow, traversable ditch allows the vehicle to drive safely over or through the ditch and remain operational. Steep ditches should be smoothed to as shallow a slop as possible. Many ditches become steep due to erosion, so an erosion control measure, such as a concrete lining, may be necessary.

Tucker Paving has over 25 years of experience with all aspects of asphalt and concrete paving, including drainage features. Call us at (863) 299-2262, or contact us online, for your next paving project.