News - Forever Open Road presented at 28th International Baltic Road Conference

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Forever Open Road presented at 28th International Baltic Road Conference

FEC member Andrzej Urbanik of IBDIM speaks at 28th International Baltic Road Conference hosted by Lithuania

 

This year Lithuania hosted the XXVIII International Baltic Road Conference, which was held in Vilnius on 26-28th August 2013. Baltic Road Conferences have been held every four years since 1932 when the first conference was held in Riga, Latvia. The main aim of these events is to coordinate teh activities of the Baltic States road specialists by close cooperation and introduction of road economy management and technical novelties, solving regional road problems, in order to jointly represent interests of the Baltic States on the international arena.

 

The slogan of the conference and exhibition was “Roads for the Society”, aimed at reflecting the idea that the main attention is to be focused on road users, their safety and comfort, whereas the roads have to be constructed and maintained in such a way that would satisfy needs of a mobile and environment friendly society. This year’s conference was also included in the World Road Association (PIARC) event calendar and attracted more than 1,000 delegates and guests from 27 countries.

 

The conference started with the opening words from Mr Audrius Butkeviius, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr Rimantas Sinkeviius, the Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania and Mr Nerijus Udrėnas, the Chief Adviser to the President of the Republic of Lithuania. The opening ceremony continued with the plenary session with presentations from Mr Aivo Adamson, Director General of the Estonian Road Administration, Mr Janis Lange, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian State Roads, Mr Skirmantas Skrinskas, Director of the Lithuanian Road Administration, Mr Jean-Francois Corte, Secretary General of PIARC and Mr Nerijus Maiulis, Chief Economist of Swedbank, Lithuania.

 

 The content of the conference was very rich, more than 140 abstracts were accepted which were later presented by oral presentations or poster sessions in the conference. The content of the conference sessions identified the trend – how to find optimal ways of financing the development and maintenance of existing road infrastructure find sufficient funds for new road infrastructure related projects in the context of the long lasting financial crisis and economic recession in Europe. Conference sessions covered the following topics:

  • Strategic Road and Transport Planning
  •  Road Financing
  • Road Pavement
  • Routine Maintenance
  • Winter Maintenance
  • Road Safety
  • Intelligent Transport Systems
  • Bridges
  • Environment
  • Scientific Research and EU Research Projects
  • Human Resources and Competences, Communication and Public Relations

Under the above topics of "Scientific Research and EU Research Projects", FEC member Andrzej Urbanik of IBDIM gave a presentation on FEHRL's flagship programme Forever Open Road entitled "Vision for Roads for the 21st Century". His presentation included information about FEHRL's role in the new Infravation Era-Net Plus programme and the FHWA-FEHRL Cooperative Agreement.

FEHRL member RRI (Road Research Institute of the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Faculty of Environmental Engineering) were involved in the conference's scientific committee and reviewed more than 30 articles. RRI also presented five papers, including one by FEC member Audrius Vaitjus. RRI had also enabled the FEHRL participation in the conference.

While the conference discussed relevant road issues from a theoretical perspective, some 97 participants (including companies, associations and road administrations) practically demonstrated new business-developed solutions, products and services in the exhibition meant for the development and improvement of road infrastructure and road user safety assurance.

Moreover, technical tours were organised for the conference delegates and guests where they had an opportunity to see the modern road construction objects, laboratory testing and research facilities, road maintenance experience, road safety measures implementation experience in Lithuania and get familiar with the history of Lithuania.

The next 29th International Baltic Roads Conference will take place in Estonia in 2017. More information about the conference and its content can be found on the Baltic Road Association website at http://www.balticroads.org/.

 

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