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The Concrete Roads Congress and Exhibition takes place in Ankara, Turkey

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

The first ‘Concrete Roads Congress and Exhibition’ was held at the Ankara KGM Halil Rifat Pasa Conference Hall under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and with technical support from the General Directorate of Highways (KGM), the Turkish Cement Manufacturers' Association (TÇMB) and the European Concrete Paving Association (EUPAVE).

The first Concrete Roads Congress and Exhibition served as a platform for the discussion of every aspect of concrete roads, including the technological developments witnessed in concrete road construction in Turkey to date.

The exhibition saw the participation of Enver Iskurt, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure. In his opening speech, Dr. Tamer Saka, Chairman of the Board of the TÇMB, noted that the adoption of concrete roads, in addition to asphalt roads, would contribute to the country’s economy by reducing the current account deficit. Saka said, “Concrete roads are a long-lasting, solid and domestic alternative that require very little maintenance or repair throughout their useful life. As you know, the binder used in asphalt roads, is a by-product of imported crude oil, for which we rely heavily on foreign resources. In contrast, cement and concrete are completely domestic products.”

Saka stated that continuously reinforced concrete roads – as a solid and domestic alternative to asphalt in road and highway construction – are resistant to heavy vehicular traffic loads and have a service life of more than 50 years. He also explained, “Roller compacted concrete roads, that have started to be constructed in rural areas, are 40% more economical in terms of the initial construction cost, and last 3-4 times longer.” It was also highlighted that concrete barriers reduce mortalities from road traffic accidents by around 20%, and are in wide use across Europe.

In his opening speech at the Congress, Nihat Özdemir, Member of the Board of the TÇMB, said, “If 50% of the highways and state roads, 10% of provincial roads and 20% of the local administration road networks were to be constructed from concrete, we could save US$700 million in initial construction costs. We will thus save up to US$8.1 billion in 10 years, including maintenance and repair costs, as is the case in developed countries, and will have generated longer-lasting and even permanent solutions.”

The Concrete Roads Congress and Exhibition saw the participation of more than 1000 people, including managers and technical officials from domestic and foreign public institutions, municipalities and special provincial administrations, as well as academicians and representatives of the private sector. Participants from various countries, including the US, Germany, Belgium, Chile, Poland and France, spoke about concrete road applications in their own countries, and specialists and academicians delivered a total of 24 presentations during the technical sessions.

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