Paving at the Top of the World – Nepal Project Offers Grade, Altitude Challenges
It’s not surprising that a paving project would be challenging in Nepal. After all, the country is situated in the Himalayan mountain range and is home to Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.
In order to overcome the obstacles presented by the difficult terrain, comprehensive planning and preparation are crucial. So are reliable asphalt-mixing plants and roadbuilding machines.
That particularly holds true for the Dharan-Chatara road project, a 115-km stretch connecting Province 1 and Province 3 in Nepal. The road is high and steep, with altitudes as high as 2400 metres and grades as steep as 9º.
The task was to upgrade and expand an existing road to 11 metres in width, enabling three lanes of traffic. The steepest areas had a grade of 14º, which was brought down to a more reasonable maximum grade of 9º during the rebuilding phase.
Handling this challenging, five-year assignment is Kalika Construction Pvt. Ltd., an experienced company that was founded in 1976. The Dharan-Chatara connection is the first highway undertaking designed by Nepali engineers and executed by a Nepali contractor.
The project is challenging, not only given its length, altitude and grade – but also because ambient temperatures limit daily paving and make the work difficult for the crew. To further complicate the situation, paving can only occur during the summer months.
An Apollo ANP 1000 Asphalt-Mixing Plant and an Apollo DrumMix 120 parallel-flow plant have proven productive and been able to keep pace with the paving crew. The plants have delivered a quality product, too. They are able to make exceptional mix at higher-than-normal temperatures so the material is properly heated when it arrives on the jobsite.
Once there, an Apollo AP 550 Hydrostatic Sensor Paver and a WM 6 HES Mechanical Paver Finisher place the materials. The machines have the power to pave on the steep grades.
“These are the best pavers on the market,” said Mr. Padam Gurung, director of Kalika. “They are able to negotiate the difficult gradient. The pavers need to be powerful, and these are.”
The pavers must be able to pull large amounts of material. A base course is placed at a depth of 440 mm – a considerable weight given the depth, altitude and grade. A surface course of 60 mm is also placed.
The pavers have plenty of power to pull the materials, yet are also manoeuvrable and responsive enough to negotiate the road’s many curves.
It is a difficult project, but Kalika Construction is meeting the challenge. The company is extremely diverse, with experience building roads, highways, bridges, water supply infrastructure, hydropower systems, electrical transmission foundations, tunnels and industrial complexes.
“We believe in excellence in service and meet and exceed client expectations,” said Mr. Gurung. “We provide quality workmanship and endorse the highest standards.”
The company is using a simple yet successful formula on the jobsite. “We have a team that is richly experienced in road construction, and we have excellent site management with the best available equipment on the job,” said Mr. Gurung.
Kalika’s professionalism and Ammann products and services proved a worthy combination on the jobsite. The support of the Ammann Dealer, Auto Electro Mech Pvt Ltd. (AEMPL), was essential to the project. Mr. Rajendra Mahatara (MD) is the leader of AEMPL, which provided after-sales support to Kalika.
AEMPL ensured all machines on the project were properly serviced and maintained. The result was improved uptime, which was essential to Kalika.
“Reliability of the machines is one of the major concerns of our management,” Mr. Gurung said. “This ensures us that the work continues uninterrupted. Also essential is good after-sales service and high machine quality that provides durability and the best performance.”