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Sustainable asphalt solutions adapted to climate change for low-traffic intensity road pavements

On October 3rd, the Conference on "Sustainable asphalt solutions adapted to climate change for road surfaces with low-intensity traffic" was held in the assembly hall of the Board of Public Works and Environment of the Regional Government of Castilla y León. It was attended by 170 road technicians from both public agencies and the private sector.

The opening was attended by Andrés Costa, main rapporteur of the Conference and Chairman of the Low-Intensity Traffic Road Committee of the Technical Road Association, Jesús Santamaría, Technical Director of the Directorate-General for Roads of the Ministry of Public Works, and Luis Alberto Solís, Director of Roads and Infrastructures of the Regional Government of Castilla y León.

The Conference was divided into three sessions. The first was dedicated to the TRACC project, the second to the preservation of low-intensity traffic roads in Castilla y León, and the third to the proposal of technical specifications for low-intensity traffic roads.

In the first session, Julio González, Head of the Road Preservation and Operations Service of the Regional Government of Castilla y León, offered a presentation on the TRACC project and the Regional Government's participation therein, focusing on the description of the project sections tested in Valladolid and their monitoring.

Seven years after its commissioning, monitoring has shown excellent evolution both from the structural (deflection) and security (CTR value of 50 to 60 throughout the section) viewpoint. However, it should be noted that following the commissioning of the VA-30, the traffic load of the CL-600, the road on which the test section was executed, was considerably reduced both in terms of total vehicles (50%), particularly heavy vehicles (70%).

María del Mar Colás, Director of the Technical Committee of the ATEB (Technical Association of Bitumen Emulsions) summarized the main objectives and achievements of the TRACC project as a whole. This project, which falls within the framework of the SUDOE program, saw the participation of Spanish (Regional Government of Castilla y León and the ATEB), French (Conseil de Haute Garonne, LRPC Toulouse and SRIR MP) and Portuguese (Politécnico de Setúbal and Sines Tecnopolo) organizations.

The development of the TRACC computer tool, whose recent renewal was presented by ATEB Manager Daniel Andaluz, resulted from this. This computer application, which is not considered a dimensioning application, is aimed at aiding the decision-making process by taking into account various criteria.

During the second session, Pablo Sáez, Director of ACEX, began by clarifying the terminology used in relation to the use and preservation of roads. In his opinion, Exploitation as such includes network management (traffic), the preservation of the elements (including road administration, regular preservation, repairs, and improvement) and service maintenance (use and defense, road administration aids, and management systems). He also laid emphasis on the basic aspects to be considered in road preservation and maintenance management.

After this session, Andrés Costa gave a presentation titled "Optimization of road surface preservation solutions: technical aspects." He began by presenting the technical and functional characteristics of low-intensity traffic roads, followed by the casuistry of the type of damage that may occur, its cause and the different solutions that must be envisaged. Lastly, he reviewed the different surface preservation techniques used on these roads, describing their characteristics, composition, advantages and limitations.

In the third session, Francisco José Lucas, Technical Support and Asphalts Business Development Manager for Rlesa and Chairman of the ATEB, and Alberto Bardesi, Director of the ATC, presented the proposals of the Articles prepared by the Low-Intensity Traffic Road Committee of the ATC for these types of roads. Lucas began by putting the Committee's project into context and pointed out that it is aimed at giving support to the technical managers of the public authorities and planners in work units not explicitly included in the PG-3 but envisaged in Orders 6.1-1C and 6.3-IC and in various road surface design recommendations of the Autonomous Regions.

Lucas and Bardesi presented the proposals of the articles, which were handed out as session documentation, placing emphasis on the new developments they provided in terms of components, nomenclature, design criteria and applications.