Post Mortem

Mind the word ‘banking of roads’

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/16/2019 12:52:20 PM IST

 “Banking of Roads” is defined as the phenomenon of raising outer-edge of the curved road above the inner-edge to provide the necessary centripetal force of the vehicles to take a safer turn, and the curved road is called “Banking of Roads”.  Here the word “Banking” has no connection with money.  It is a word of Civil Engineering particularly for the Department of Roads and Bridges.

The idea is, any mass that moves in a circular path undergoes centripetal acceleration, which is equal to V2/R.  Therefore, Engineers design roads to be banked when the road is curved or circular for maximum safe velocity of vehicle around at such curve. 

Let’s put it in a simple layman’s word for easier understanding.  On the crooked hilly, mountainous or valley regions, whenever a road is under construction, very often we come across many zigzag and serpentine turnings risky and uncomfortable for speeding vehicles.

At such a curved road, as an Engineer/Contractor; when you stand on the spot to survey, and as you stand right in the middle of the road, and look back and forth; you find

(1) To one-end, vehicle is to be driven forth round from your right-side to your left-side.  And you find the gradient(slope) of the road on your right-edge which usually covers round  a greater length is  to be built up slightly higher than your left-edge (i.e. your left-bank of the road is to be built/banked a little lower than your right-bank) according to the degree of the curve.

(2) Now, you turn back from where you stand, and look to the other-end. You find, vehicle is to be driven forth round from your left-side to your right.  The gradient of the road on your left-edge which usually covers round a greater length is to be raised a  little higher than your right edge (i.e. your right bank of the road is to be built a little lower than your left-bank).

This is a great scientific discovery and a powerful concept of Engineering work on road-construction at every curve-turn on the hilly and mountainous areas in order to arrest and balance both the centripetal and centrifugal forces at such accident prone curves, to avoid slipping sideways when it is wet or raining and improve riding quality.  And that, when a speeding vehicle comes across at such bad turnings, the balance of the bodies of the vehicle itself, and so also the balances of the bodies of all passengers in the speeding vehicle are balanced, comfortable and safe; and that skiddings and accidents do not occur.

Wherever banked roads are built, enough water outlets/holes should be provided on the side of lower inner-edges to the drainages, so that even when there comes rain or flash-floods, the water do not store on the road like a pool, or flow like a river on the road causing damages to the roads. 

A newly constructed/blacktopped road on the Highway may look good, but if “Banking of Roads” are not properly built as per the required specifications, it is not a safe or standard road.  The importance of  building “banked roads” on the curves on the crooked hilly and mountainous regions, and so also in the labyrinthine valleys can never be overlooked.

Zapra Chakhesang, 

New Minister Hill, Kohima

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