News - Press Release | Tools for Forecasting the Impact of Climate Change on Road Infrastructures

NATIONAL ROAD RESEARCH CENTRES IN PARTNERSHIP

Press Release | Tools for Forecasting the Impact of Climate Change on Road Infrastructures

1 October 2010 - Road authorities were interested in a common way of estimating and prioritizing mitigation efforts/measures to identify and prevent problems with road infrastructure, caused by climate change. The European projects SWAMP, RIMAROCC, P2R2C2, and IRWIN were commissioned to do just that. The principal focus of these projects were on evaluating the impact of climate change on road infrastructure, determining methods for calculating costs and benefits of adaptation measures, and risk management. The results will be presented at the ERA-NET ROAD Conference in early December 2010.

 

The road network is heavily influenced by climate conditions. Climate change may result in more frequent and more intense rainfall, milder winters, warmer summers, and increases in wind speed and storm frequency. Road authorities need to evaluate the effect of climate change on the road network and take remedial action through all components of road management including design, construction and maintenance. At the same time, consideration must be given to safety and accessibility to ensure that user’s expectations are not compromised. The adaptation of road networks to these changes is one of the important issues that road authorities need to address. This research programme aimed at providing road authorities with the knowledge and tools necessary to "get to grips" with climate change and its effects on all elements of road management by adapting design rules, updating and improving data collection, and developing risk management methods.

The 2008 Call “Road Owners Getting to Grips with Climate Change” was the first trans-national funded joint research programme in ERA-NET ROAD. Eleven National Road Administrations from different countries declared to participate with a total budget for funding of €1,35M over 30 months. The Programme Executive Board (PEB) members were from Austria (Chair), Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden (Leader) and the United Kingdom.

The SWAMP project (Storm Water Prevention), targeted the critical issue of finding the most vulnerable parts of the road network, and how to prepare them for flooding. RIMAROCC focused primarily on risk management for roads in a changing climate, while P2R2C2 evaluated pavement performance and remediation requirements following climate change. Finally, IRWIN set out to improve local road winter index’s to assess maintenance needs and adaptation costs in climate change scenarios.

Outputs of this research programme will be a series of reports focusing on different aspects of climate change and its effects on the management of national road networks that can be applied across Europe and will be important in facilitating the understanding of this research across the funding member states. These reports will be presented as proposed guidelines.

The final event of these four ERA-NET ROAD projects will take place in Cologne, Germany, on 8 and 9 December 2010. The conference aims to provide a forum for exchanging the latest developments and proposed guidelines in the field of climate change, related to road infrastructure. Dedicated breakout discussion sessions will take place to highlight the projects synergies and identify recommendations for better implementation. The conference will also focus on the most appropriate way to use the specific recommendations and incorporate them into a final summary report for the research programme.

Formed in 1989 as the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories, FEHRL, in collaboration with the German Federal Highway Research Institute, BASt, has been contracted by ERA-NET ROAD to organise this conference. FEHRL provides a coordinated structure for the interests of thirty plus national research and technical centres in Europe and Internationally. FEHRL’s aim is to encourage collaborative research and information exchange between European Laboratories and Institutes in the field of road engineering as well as to provide relevant knowledge and advice to governments, the European Commission, the road industry and road users on related technologies and policies.

The conference is free of charge and will be held in English.

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For registration and further details on the event, including the programme and practical information, please visit the FEHRL website.

Additional Project information.

To request a media badge for the conference, please go to the registration page and tick the media badge box.

Conference Coordinator

FEHRL, Blvd de la Woluwe 42, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
Ms. Isabelle Lucchini, e-mail isabelle.lucchini@fehrl.org,
phone : +32 2 775 82 43. www.fehrl.org
For PR Information BASt, German Federal Highway Research Institute,
Bruederstrasse 53, D-51427 Bergisch Gladbach
Ms. Petra Peter-Antonin, phone +49 (0) 220 443 185, e-mail: pr@bast.de.
www.bast.de
Conference Partners ERA-NET ROAD (European Research Area)
FEHRL (Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories), Belgium;
BASt (Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen), Germany

 

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