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28 March 2018

PPRS: come together for International Road Maintenance Day

First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com

The world’s leading highway associations have launched International Road Maintenance Day to focus people everywhere on the protection of their local road networks.

International Road Maintenance Day will take place on the first Thursday of every April, speakers said on day two of the Pavement Preservation and Recycling Summit (PPRS Nice 2018). The first event will take place on April 5, 2018.

“It will be one day per year to talk about the maintenance of our roads,” said Juan Jose Potti, the president of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Asphalt Mixture (ASEFMA).

On its new twitter feed, the organisers said the campaign wants to speak to the public directly. “Roads don't cry, don't scream, and don't go on strike but ... it is necessary to maintain them properly.”

It asks people to “get involved and become an #IRMDfriend, an #IRMDpartner, and #IRMDmedia supporter or an #IRMDsponsor. “Visit http://roadmaintenanceday.org/get-involved/ ,” says the campaign “and find out what you can do to support #IRMD2018.”

“We have all sorts of days for many different things,” Potti told the PPRS conference, “so we thought, why not an international road maintenance day?” We are going to promote the face that “looking after the roads is also about protecting the environment,” he added. “There is more pollution when a car drives down a bad road than a good road.”

The twitter feed contains messages such as “CO2 emissions of a standard car could increase by 10-13% when driving on pavements with bad or very bad surface condition,” and “an upgrade of one third of the entire road network of Europe by 2030 would result in CO2 savings equivalent of replacing 3 million cars with zero-emission cars.”

A website is being set up at www.roadmaintenanceday.org and the organisers are hoping that the international road community will support its twitter feeds and ideas programme, and start thinking about what it could do every April to promote the sector.

PPRS highlighted a typical initiative, a new YouTube video from the Ohio Department of Transportation called “Taking care of what we have.” Aimed at the general public, the video explains how the state’s road network is essential in delivering daily life.

The world’s road community “needs to come together” said Siobhan McKelvey, president of the International Bitumen Exchange Forum (IBEF) and meld its “different voices, cultures, languages and histories into one. “We need to make one giant choir, and sing with a stronger voice.”

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