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Building Tomorrow’s Transport Infrastructure Today – IRF Global in Washington

First publishedin World Highways
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Preparations are underway for the world’s leading road, tunnel and bridge exhibition

Produced by the International Road Federation, the Washington-based IRF Global Road2Tunnel Expo & Conference is the only international conference and tradeshow of its kind dedicated to road, tunnel and bridge construction.

“Technology and innovations are evolving at a pace never seen before in the history of the road and transport sector” noted IRF president & CEO C Patrick Sankey. “From innovations in materials, such as self-healing concrete and rubberised asphalt, to advances in construction equipment automation, and of course, the dawn of the connected and automated vehicle, we are on a verge of a new era.”

Both events combine to offer a new and unique international meeting point where leading industry innovators, researchers, and stakeholders can acquire essential engineering and business insights, and help build tomorrow’s transportation infrastructure.

A comprehensive program for road professionals

With rising expectations placed on the delivery of sustainable and efficient transport infrastructure, IRF continues its mission to offer government agencies and road professionals access to knowledge resources from innovations in project design, to managing transportation assets, and readying road networks for the arrival of shared and connected mobility services.

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The director of Nevada DOT, Rudy Malfabon will keynote the conference

More than 120 speakers are expected to share their research and expertise on forward-looking industry questions identified with the support of the University of Nevada and Arizona State University, the event’s two knowledge partners. Confirmed keynote speakers include the director of Nevada’s Department of Transportation, Rudy Malfabon. Nevada recently launched an Intelligent Mobility program to explore how transit vehicles sense their environment and communicate with other vehicles, infrastructure such as traffic signals and systems, and individual people through their mobile devices.

Business to business services

With over 9,000m2 of exhibition space, the expo offers an unparalleled showcase for the world’s leading design, engineering, construction and management companies.  

Developed by the distributors and contractors of some of the world’s largest megaprojects, the “Distributors’ and Contractors’ Lounge” will be one of the most important platforms for companies seeking to be vendors, suppliers, and service providers. It will be through this lounge that these distributors and contractors will meet with potential vendors, suppliers, and service providers seeking an opportunity to take part in road, bridge and tunnel projects.

A network of supporting organisations

Leading industry organisations, professional road associations and government agencies have joined forces with the IRF in delivering the Expo and Conference, and help ground the discussion with national concerns, insights and opportunities.

Samsi Gunarta, head of division for Land Acquisition Facilitation at Indonesia’s Regional Infrastructure Development Agency noted that “Indonesia is undergoing an exciting period of economic transformation with plans to spend upwards of 10% of GDP on infrastructure. Identifying the best technologies and industry partners is key to this endeavour, which is why we will attend the 2018 IRF R2T Global Expo and Conference”.

Road Safety Audits: IRF Presents First Global Credential

Symeon Sakkas, of project consulting firm RACE Consulting Engineers, was recognised as the first globally credentialled road safety audit team leader by the International Road Federation. Christos Rados, managing partner, received the award on his behalf on October 29, 2017 during the IRF Middle East & North Africa Regional Congress. Launched in September 2017, the IRF Global Credential Program remedies a critical gap by offering a pathway for seasoned road safety auditors who wish to enhance their qualifications at home or seek work abroad. Candidates are required to take an online knowledge qualifying exam and submit a comprehensive application presenting their professional track record and details of the projects they have audited in order to complete the program.

Through this program, the IRF has reaffirmed the essential role of road safety audits using qualitative benchmarks to ensure countries progress towards a safe and forgiving road system. According to IRF executive vice president Michael G Dreznes, “preventive risk assessment measures, such as road safety audits or inspections, carried out on new and existing roads offer a well-charted and cost-effective pathway to reducing road traffic injury risk, because design standards alone cannot guarantee road safety in all conditions.”

Road safety audit and inspections serve the common purpose of identifying risk factors related to road design or traffic control that may lead to crashes, or make crashes more severe. In many cases, they also assist network highway operators and city traffic departments in identifying engineering weaknesses and hazardous locations, even in the absence of robust road traffic injury data.

“However, poorly performed or badly documented road safety audits and inspections can have negative effects on safety. Worse yet, the road authority would be using its limited financial resources to conduct these audits with less than acceptable results,” Dreznes added. “Moreover, few countries have established in-country professional qualification programs delivered by accredited institutes or invested in developing commensurate knowledge resources on cost-effective and locally applicable engineering solutions.”

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Washington-based IRF Global

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