What is the load transfer mechanism for paving blocks in pedestrian footway?

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In Hong Kong, footway is normally designed with paving slabs/interlocking blocks instead of concrete because the extensive use of concrete in pavement is boring. Moreover, poor appearance will result in concrete pavement due to frequently trench openings for utility work. In addition, owing to the prolonged setting and curing time of concrete, the use of concrete pavement inevitably generates disturbance to the general public.

The pedestrian loads are taken up through the following ways:

(i) Load carrying capacity of paving slabs/interlocking blocks are derived from their individual strength;
(ii) Pedestrian loads are also supported by interlocking forces provided by friction transfer through the sand in vertical joints (K. K. Tang & Robert P. Cooper (1986)).


This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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