Sustainable Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance in Serengeti National Park
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All weather road networks in protected areas are important to facilitate management of wildlife, routine park operations and to facilitate tourist accessibility to the tourist s attractions sites hence improving their satisfaction. However, road construction in protected areas should be sustainable in terms of availability of quality materials within economic haulage distance and the entire construction, operation and maintenance process should have less environmental impacts like habitat fragmentation and dust pollution. Several studies have been done in roads constructed in protected areas but most of them had concentrated on the ecological impacts of roads. Few studies have been done from the engineering perspective of sustainable construction and maintenance of roads in protected areas. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess the sustainability and challenges of construction and maintenance of gravel roads in protected areas. To accomplish objectives of these study four types of data were collected in Serengeti National Park (SENAPA). The data collected were from soil material test in the existing borrow pits, traffic volume counting, document study and interview with fifty (50) road stakeholders and other key informants. The soil tests and traffic volume count results show that poor performance of the studied road sections can be contributed by the quality of soil material in the existing borrow pits under the current traffic volume. Furthermore, the interview results and the document study show that other factors were, insufficient budget for road operations, unreliable and insufficient number of road equipment and lack of field skills to road equipment operators. This study will contribute to the sustainable construction of road networks in protected areas through identifying possible challenges of road construction and maintenance and give the way forward for improvement.