On 24th August 2015, about seventy delegates from fifteen countries gathered in BRRC’s auditorium at Sterrebeek to attend the final PERSUADE seminar (acronym of PoroElastic Road SUrface: an innovation to Avoid Damages to the Environment).
The objective of this six-year European research project (September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2015) led by BRRC was to develop a safe and durable poroelastic road surface, as a means to control road traffic noise.
A poroelastic road surface is composed of rubber granules (from recycled car tyres), small-sized stone aggregate and a number of additives, which are bound with an elastic synthetic resin (polyurethane). It contains no bitumen and must, therefore, not be confused with rubberized asphalt.
Earlier experiments had demonstrated that such a road surface can reduce road traffic noise by 7 to 12 dB. For comparison, a 4 m high noise screen has a noise-abating effect of about 8 dB.
However, durability was inadequate, especially for fretting and adhesion to the underlying layer. Further extensive research was necessary to improve those aspects and to find the answers to a number of pending questions.
On January 28 and 29 2015, the Belgian Road Research Centre hosted a workshop on the Curviameter. The objective of the workshop was to bring together specialists and users of Curviameter measurement data: current and former end-users of Curviameter data, road managers and road engineers, scientists who published articles about the interpretation of Curviameter data, and persons interested in the measurement device and in the data it provides.
Road network management is not limited to the more technical aspects of the contruction, maintenance and repair of a given number of roads. Other considerations involved in the management of a road network include the available annual budget, the share-out between road maintenance and (re)construction, the safety and comfort of road users, mobility, noise annoyance, environmental preservation, aesthetic aspects, sociological impact, etc.
Several actors are in charge of constructing and maintaining road infrastructure. They may be regions or municipalities, but also managers of specific facilities such airfield strips, port areas, industrial areas, etc. All of them, however, are faced with the same challenges raised by ageing infrastructures, ever increasing traffic loads, and budget restrictions.
The quality of road infrastructure is important to all actors, but is perceived in different ways:
Both at the European and the global level, exchange and work structures are developing that foster technical progress in earthworks and earthmoving projects. They promote:
- a coordination of practices (establishment of standards institute);
- greater participation in research at the European and global levels;
- the scheduling of conferences for exchanges between professionals.
Assistance to the profession is one of the pillars of our activities and takes several forms, including technical assistance.
Technical assistance is reserved to our members.
It is free of charge for accountable members (road contractors) and for road-managing authorities.
It is charged at the prevailing rates to adherent members.
BRRC has recently launched its new website. The well-known address, www.brrc.be, has conveniently been preserved.
The updated and completed texts have been fully translated into English, as a complement to the traditionally available French and Dutch versions.
The concept of the site is daring, since its content is not presented primarily in the form of a conventional tree structure.