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Road geotechnics has considerably extended its scope of activity over the past few years. This is due to the cosideration given to environmental preservation and sustainable development, and to the ensuing legal obligation to be careful in general with the available natural resources left and to optimize soil use in road earthworks.
Making valuable use of local – including marginal – materials excavated during earthworks is currently a major concern (see PIARC report 1201R37 on “Innovative approaches towards the use of locally available natural marginal materials”).
In addition, the European waste framework directive 2008/98/EC stipulates that by the year 2020 useful applications should be developed for 70 % by weight of all construction and demolition waste.
In this respect, the consideration of environmental aspects is facing road geotechnicians with new challenges.
The booming use of new (artificial and recycled) geomaterials in road applications has created a need to develop suitable procedures in order to make sure that they can be used in an adequate process of high-quality road construction.
Characterizing these materials with a view to assessing their short and long-term behaviour in road structures is an important objective in the work area Geomaterials and base layers.