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Road Construction Concepts

Road Construction Concepts

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Published by Francis T. Tolibas
Technical reference on road construction
Technical reference on road construction

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Published by: Francis T. Tolibas on Feb 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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On the initiative of FEHRL, the European Commission has set up the innovation project “New Road
Construction Concepts (NR2C)”. This project aimed to generate future-orientated initiatives for
accessibility problems and issues related to road infrastructure.

Relevant to the sixth Framework Program – priority 6: Sustainable development, global change, NR2C
which was a four year project, has started in December 2003, to be completed in December 2007.

Its objectives were, in dialogue and cooperation with all actors concerned such as road infrastructure
owners, decisions makers, experts, users, road industry:
1 -

firstly, to provide long term perspectives for the road infrastructure (vision 2040), which
reconciles future transport needs, expected users and social demands, and sustainability goals; this
means to develop new concepts for the road of the future (high quality, cost-effective, low noise,
environmentally friendly, safer, risk mitigating, low maintenance, while facilitating traffic mobility and
2 -

secondly, to implement concrete short term actions by developing specific innovations that will
support this long term vision, these innovations being relevant to three fields : urban infrastructure,
interurban infrastructure and civil engineering structures.


Led by the LCPC, NR2C has involved, directly or indirectly, partners from:
• FEHRL road research institutes:
- LCPC, leader of a joint unit research which brings together DREIF/LROP and CETE
de Lyon – France,
- DWW – Netherlands,
- EPFL - Switzerland,
- BRRC – Belgium,
- under FEHRL umbrella : DRI – Denmark, KTI – Hungary, ZAG – Slovenia, VTI –
Sweden, Ibdim – Poland, as support to FEHRL association which was a core partner
by itself;
• engineering and design consultants, road industry:
- Greisch Ingéniérie – Belgium
- Jean Muller International – France
- Eurovia – France;
• road owner, with research activities:
- Autostrade – Italy.



In accordance to the objectives, the NR2C project was divided into four first Work Packages,
respectively dedicated to the global concept and each of the three specialised fields:

WP 0: Development of new concepts for the road of the future (leader: T Maagdenberg - DWW)
WP 1: Innovations for urban and suburban infrastructure (leader: JP. Christory – LROP)
WP 2: Innovations for interurban infrastructure (leaders, successively: JC Turtschy, A. Junod,
L. Arnaud, N. Bueche – EPFL - Switzerland)
WP 3: Innovations for civil engineering structures (leader: JM. Tanis – JMI);

and two additional, but crucial, Work Packages for dissemination and management:

WP 4: Clustering, communication, co-ordination and utilisation (leader: S. Phillips – FEHRL)
WP 5: Management (leader: B. Mahut -LCPC)

In addition, the project was continuously supervised by two scientific directors (T. Kretz -now Sétra
and J. M.-Piau - LCPC).


If one consider NR2C timing, three main phases can be identified:
• Phase 1 – survey and analysis
Began in 2004, continued in 2005, this phase was designed to clearly identify future user needs and
expectations. It had consisted of enquiries, surveys, focus workshops and brainstorming sessions, to
build the vision. In parallel, state of the art reports on innovations in urban, interurban and civil
engineering have been provided.
• Phase 2 - assessment and selection
During this phase running to the end of 2006, innovations, feasibility studies, preliminary models have
been carefully assessed and the most promising have been selected for further development
• Phase 3 – testing and recommendations
Running to the end of 2007, innovations selected in phase 2 have undergo detailed design, laboratory
tests and when possible site pilot tests, leading to specific recommendations.
Finally, in the continuity of the NR2C vision concepts, and taking in account Europe concerns,
emblematic future research projects have been identified.


In order to answer to the question of developments required to face the future, NR2C has adopted an
approach consisting firstly to define a vision, and secondly to convert it into research and innovation
priority. This approach is very similar to other visions provided in the same period.

The NR2C Vision 2040 takes in account :


ERTRAC Vision 2020 (whose main themes are: mobility of people and transport of goods,
safety and security, environment energy and resources, competitive design and production systems)

FEHRL Vision 2025 (which started the vision from the perspective of highways and their
operation in different future society scenarii), converted to specific requirements)

ECTP Vision 2030 (European Construction Technology Plateform Vision which is articulated
around three main concepts : meeting clients’ requirements, becoming sustainable and transformation


of the construction sector – the fields considered being cities and buildings, underground, networks
and some transversal field such as materials, cultural heritage, quality of life).

However NR2C brings an original contribution that takes in account widely users and stakeholders
and goes also deeply in the urban and peri-urban problematic, and most of all gives major place to the

As regard the development of specific innovations, each field of NR2C (urban, interurban, bridges) has
began with state of the art reports based either on European inquiries either on very deep
bibliographical studies.

From a global point of view, NR2C mainly takes benefit from :

SAMARIS (Sustainable and advanced materials for Road and Infrastructures project)


in the field of pavement : Paramix EC- Project (Road pavement rehabilitation techniques
using enhanced asphalt mixture) and will also consider OCDE project – Long life pavement

in the field of bridges : national reference documents on BFUP, composites, famous at the

international level

and also SAMCO project (Structural Assessment Monitoring and Control)


synergy with SILENCE to study low noise pavement for urban area


in urban infrastructure through an inquiry made by PIARC on road innovations in the period



Seminars have been organised at crucial periods of the project. Corresponding presentations are
available on FEHRL website.

The NR2C launching seminar has taken place as a part of the FeRRM seminar organised by FEHRL,
in Brussels, 14-17 June 2004.

At the beginning of the project, several additional seminars and brainstorming have been organised in
different European countries to deliver information about the project and cause discussions and
reflexions to feed the prospective 2040 vision while collecting waiting and needs expressed in term of
innovations. Among them, a seminar specifically dedicated to urban sector must be noticed: the
seminar organised by WP1, “La rue du futur” – Paris, 14 september 2004 and 25th

January 2005

A mid-term workshop has been organised in Brussels on 16th

December 2005, by FEHRL and DWW.
Bringing together representatives from the road related industry, road operators and owners, research
institutes, academia and the European Commission, the aim was to inform participants about the
progress of the project and to consult them with respect to the approach chosen and their
expectations, remarks and adjustements.

At the end of the project, on 15th

and 16th

November 2007, NR2C has shared its final workshop with
other European Commission road infrastructure related projects. This seminar on road innovation,
organised by FEHRL, has linked to prospective NR2C dimension, concrete results and work in
progress from the same projects cluster, such as Samaris, Certain, Arches, and Spens.


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