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Étienne le Bouteiller spoke to Performance Magazine ahead of the first Pavement Preservation and Recycling Summit (PPRS). Here we present additional excerpts from the interview discussing the importance of maintaining the road network to meet changing needs. Étienne le Bouteiller is the Executive Director of the International Bitumen Emulsion Federation (IBEF), International Technical manager for COLAS and a member of the steering committee for PPRS.
To start, it is the first time we have organised the event. Second, it’s unique because its goal is to explain and discuss case studies from around the world. PPRS aims to gather all the stakeholders in the road industry – from contractors to politicians to road users – giving the conference a unique perspective.
The event will be chaired by Jean-François Corté, Secretary General of the World Road Association (PIARC). 80 internationally-renowned speakers will share their insights during the conference, addressing topics such as assessing the economic and social impact of roads, defining maintenance strategies, allocating resources and fostering innovations in the field of materials, methods and equipment.
There is less and less funding available, so we have to continue to adapt and unfortunately the markets in some places are declining which is the case in Europe and the US. So, we have to deal with this challenge together through better communications to show that we are part of one global community.
The reality is the whole community has a duty to keep the economy in a good state as much as possible, and the economy needs roads. We shouldn’t be afraid to say what we have to say, and we should not hide problems. Instead we should explain what the problems are and discuss solutions – but this depends on if countries choose to be open-minded.
There are many places that have experienced very severe winters in recent years – France is one of them. This had a major impact on the quality of roads and for the first time in a long time people started to complain. It was reported in the news that people were saying they do not have the roads that they deserve. This is part of the reason why people are not keen on paying more taxes – because they want to see where the money they are paying goes.
It’s exactly the same situation in emerging economies and in big economies such as China or India. These countries started to build their road networks and after a period of time they need maintenance due to expected service life and often heavier than expected use. So, pavement maintenance doesn’t apply only in Western economies – it’s a worldwide problem.
So, more attention needs to go to the preservation of pavements, but this is really a question that should be asked of the road users because they are the ones who finance the roads.
Étienne le Bouteiller is the Executive Director of the International Bitumen Emulsion Federation (IBEF), International Technical manager for COLAS and a member of the steering committee for PPRS.
The first Pavement Preservation and Recycling Summit takes place 22–25 February in Paris, France. Find out more: www.pprsparis2015.com
Read more in the latest issue of Performance Magazine.