REPARA 2.0: A new infrastructure management concept

El objetivo de este proyecto de Investigación es el desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías y metodologías que apoyen la gestión de infraestructuras y permitan rehabilitar y conservar cualquier tipología de carretera a un menor coste económico y medioambiental.

The road network is in jeopardy due to restrictive investment policies arising from the economic crisis and cutbacks in road conservation and maintenance. According to the latest Spanish Road Association report on maintenance needs, published in May 2016, our roads are undergoing unprecedented deterioration and are in the worst condition since the report was first published in 1985. According to this study, current investment requirements for replacement and reinforcement of surfaces amount to €6,217 million for all Spanish roads. It is estimated that the state network requires investment of €1,917 million and the regional network €4,300 million.

The consequences of this deterioration are: less comfort and safety for vehicles; loss of inter-territorial competitiveness and, with respect to our European partners, an exponential increase in repair costs (every euro not invested on time in surface mantenance requires investment of €5 within three years and €25 within five years); increased maintenance costs for vehicles, increased vehicle fuel consumption and higher contaminating emissions.

The REPARA 2.0 PROJECT seeks to develop new technologies and methodologies to support infrastructure management and enable the restoration and conservation of all road types with lower costs and a lesser environmental impact, whilst also enhancing road adaptation to climate change. The project is being carried out at a critical time, given the poor state of roads in Spain and in other countries throughout Europe and the world.

REPARA 2.0 will see the development of new recycled asphalt mixtures implementing up to 100% of recycled materials. These mixtures will be more sustainable and resilient and they will have mechanical properties similar to those of hot mix asphalts.

They will be suitable for high-capacity roads and will be produced with low energy consumption, low emissions and at ambient temperature (cold technologies). The result will be a pioneering technology worldwide. REPARA 2.0 will also study ways of manufacturing new low-noise pavements through the use, for the first time ever at international level, of recycled mixtures produced at temperatures of less than 100ºC (warm recycled mixtures).

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Published in: FuturENVIRO #44 October2017