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RAVeL (Réseau Autonome de Voies Lentes) is a feature of Wallonia’s policy for “soft” mobility. This network of segregated cycleways is to provide safety for vulnerable road users. To offer equivalent safety at junctions between these cycleways and ordinary roads, the competent directorate of the Walloon public service department SPW ordered a study from BRRC.
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.
This project (1st August 2007 through 31st July 2010) was funded bij Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT), and was completed jointly by the University of Leuven (KUL) and BRRC. The experimental field research for this project was carried out for the greater part on regional road N9 between Ghent and Eeklo (Belgium).
The project comprised several research actions.
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.