The TRIMM project (acronym of Tomorrow’s Road Infrastructure Monitoring & Management) was completed late in 2014. It was funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7, 2007-2013). Its objective was to strengthen the role of condition monitoring in road management and to highlight its beneficial effects. The condition of a road network is, in fact, decisive for its level of service to road users. Maintenance is required to preserve or improve the condition of bridges and roads.
Various types of asphalt mixture are used on our road network. Their compositions have to comply with performance criteria set in the tender specifications of the various road-managing authorities. Performance tests are used to check this compliance. One of these tests is the two-point bending test (picture: new device at BRRC) on trapezoidal specimens, to determine the rigidity modulus and investigate resistance to fatigue.
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.
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.