Interesting topics and strong messages at the German Concrete Pavement Conference

The German Research Association for Roads and Traffic (FGSV) was the successful organiser of the Concrete Pavement Conference (Betonstraβentagung) that was held on 19 and 20 September 2013 in the beautiful city of Karlsruhe.  It was attended by around 250 participants of whom 34 from outside of Germany.  For the first time, the presentations were simultaneously translated and gave the conference a more international character.  This was emphasised by the presence and the introductory presentation of Mark Snyder, President of the International Society for Concrete Pavements (ISCP).

The 20 carefully selected contributions dealt with all aspects of concrete pavements and vehicle restraint systems.  Some of them are summarised here under.

Today, the issue of surface texture and noise emission is very topical in all European countries.  The techniques of diamond grinding and grooving and the optimised NGCS (Next Generation Concrete Surface) have found their way from the U.S. to Germany.  This was presented by C.E. Jens Skarabis from the Technical University of Munich and Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Stöckert from BAST.  These lectures were undoubtedly much appreciated by the audience and in particular by Mr. John Roberts, Executive Director of the International Grooving and Grinding Association (IGGA).

Click photo to enlarge...

Next Generation Concrete Surface (NGCS)
Photo: www.igga.net

Martin Datzert from EUPAVE member WIRTGEN highlighted the recent developments in the field of construction machinery, in particular the modular composition of slipform pavers with smooth connection of external systems and the latest progress in 3D-technology systems.

The most remarkable messages came from the side of contractors and concessionaires involved in PPP-projects.
Eng. Matthias Schmidt from VINCI Concessions Deutschland GmbH highlighted the cost effectiveness of concrete pavements : “For a period of responsibility of operation and maintenance of 30 years, the higher investment costs for concrete are easily regained through the minimal maintenance that is needed”.

Eng. Christian Qualmann from EUROVIA Beton GmbH advocated the choice for concrete vehicle restraint systems in PPP-projects.  “In five out of six current PPP works, the median safety barriers are built with in situ cast concrete.”  The reasons are multiple : speed of construction, durability, less repairs, independent of the soil conditions, combination with precast concrete, ...

“Innovation management” was the topic presented by Eng. Beata Krieger from the Federal Highway Research Institute BAST. With the help of a new holistic assessment procedure for innovations, the aim is to create an incentive for the development of new solutions.  One of the initiatives is the construction of duraBAST, a demonstration, testing and reference site near Köln.

The other presentations dealt with:

- Thickness design and fatigue tests,

- Aggregates and base layers;

- Information sheets on roundabouts and whitetopping;

- Long-term performance of concrete pavements;

- Longitudinal expansion of concrete roads;

- Maintenance and modular rapid repair systems using precast concrete elements;

- Quality assurance and test procedures.