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Visit of Japanese delegation to Belgian continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP)

18/02/2019

A Japanese delegation visited Belgium from 28 January until 1st February 2019 with the aim to learn and exchange experiences in the field of continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP).

The 13 guests coming from the Japanese Cement Association, Ishikawa National College of Technology, the East Nippon Expressway Co. and its Research Institute, Taisei Rotec Co. and Oriental Consultants were welcomed by EUPAVE, FEBELCEM (Federation of the Belgian Cement Industry), the BRRC (Belgian Road Research Centre) and AB-Roads.

The first day of the visit, Tuesday 29 January 2019, took place in the Belgian Road Research Centre where they were welcomed by Mrs. Annick De Swaef, director-general of the BRRC, Mr. Etienne Scherpereel, vice-president of the BRRC and Mr. Claude Van Rooten, President of PIARC, the World Road Association.  Several presentations were on the agenda:

  • Luc Rens (EUPAVE/FEBELCEM) started with the history of CRCP and also explained the maintenance and repair techniques.
  • Elia Boonen (BRRC) introduced the basic principles and standard technical specifications for design and construction of CRCP in Belgium
  • Anne Beeldens (AB-Roads) presented the special applications of CRCP, such as roundabouts and tramways and also highlighted a special case of distress which is the phenomenon of horizontal cracking.
  • Pieter De Winne, head of the Road Engineering Division of the Flemish Road Authorities presented his organization and explained the reasons for choosing CRCP on the most intensely trafficked part of the motorway network.

Subsequently, Mr. Nishizawa, professor at the Ishikawa National College of Technology presented the Japanese experiences and practices in concrete road construction.

In the late afternoon, the participants were invited to visit a nearby site in Steenokkerzeel with a bypass road and roundabout, built in 2003, both in CRCP.

On the next day, Wednesday 30 January, the delegation was invited in FEBELCEM and EUPAVE premises where they received a presentation of the worksite of Couvin by Mrs. Nathalie Balfroid.  In the afternoon, they visited the motorway E40, 48 years in service now, as well as some rural roads in jointed concrete and in CRCP.

 

 

In the evening, Belgian and Japanese delegates were invited by the BRRC to share a dinner at the restaurant Samouraï in Brussels city center.

On their last day, Luc Rens guided the group to different CRCP sites in Flanders, mainly motorways (E40 Brussels – Ostend; E17 Gent – Kortrijk; A11 Gent-Antwerp; R1 Ring of Antwerp; A12 Antwerp-Brussels).

A final visit was scheduled to the Nieuwelaan in Meise, a remarkable road in jointed concrete slabs, built in 1952.

Exchanging experiences and visiting projects are excellent ways to learn how design rules and construction practices are related to the behavior of road pavements.  It was a pleasure for EUPAVE to contribute to the exchange with the Japanese colleagues.  We also thank the BRRC, FEBELCEM, AB-Roads, TRBA and the Flemish and Walloon Road Authorities for the fine collaboration in hosting this visit.

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