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02 June 2014

World Road Association Secretary General: ‘Act now on global road infrastructure’

First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
The Secretary General of the World Road Association-PIARC has stressed the need for urgent unified action to maintain international road infrastructure.

Jean-François Corté, whose association unites the road administrations of 120 governments and has members, individuals, companies, authorities and organisations in over 140 countries, spoke ahead of the keenly awaited PPRS Paris 2015 Congress 22-25 February 2015, which he is chairing.

Emphasising the importance of quality road infrastructure and the need for investment in it, he said, “In many countries, road infrastructure is the most important of all public assets. With a chronic lack of sufficient maintenance, it becomes fragile and rehabilitation costs increase sharply. The widespread economic and societal impact of inadequate maintenance is often greatly underestimated: increased transport times and costs, reduced reliability for transport times, loss of full accessibility to services and local markets, and greater safety risks for road users, for example.

“Investments have been made in recent decades, often with a considerable boost to road assets, such as new highways and rural access roads. Nonetheless, in the majority of countries, policies and budgets have not been adapted to provide sustainability for road infrastructure investments and to ensure the expected level of service over time.”

Corté said the current lack of global consistency on sustainable road infrastructure investment made it important to commend the initiative taken by professional organisations from the road industry - which has garnered the support of various other international organisations - to dedicate an international conference to road maintenance and pavement preservation.

The PPRS Paris 2015 Congress has been designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the issues associated with pavement preservation, with the aim to promote the exchange of ideas and sharing of experience amongst key stakeholders: public authorities, the road industry as a whole, engineering companies, road users.

Internationally-renowned speakers will cover a variety of topics designed to be of interest to government officials, road infrastructure managers and road industry executives. The issues to be addressed range from assessing economic and social impact, defining adapted maintenance strategies over the medium term, optimally allocating resources between routine maintenance, preventive maintenance and refurbishment, to fostering the emergence and introduction of innovations in the field of materials, methods and construction equipment for greater durability as well as minimising environmental impact.

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