Dr. Mohamed Saif Al Kawary, Deputy Assistant of the Labs and Standardization Affairs at the Ministry of Environment unveiled a new mix for smart roads that depends on grinding rubber “used tires” and mixing it with asphalt materials to make the road extendable and shrinkable subject to the weather condition, and resistant to heavy loads of trucks and to cracking, which would increase the expected lifetime of the road from 20 years according to the systems currently in use to 50 years.
He emphasized that in case the experiment is successful it will be approved in the construction and development of the roads of the World Cup Championship which Qatar will host in 2022.
He further pointed out that the new mix was the result of lots of experiments for building and construction of smart roads in Qatar the expected lifetime of which would reach 50 years and keep up with the prevailing hot weather of the country, pointing out that the experiments and researches reached an advanced stage and are expected to end within the current year.
He emphasized that the problem of roads today lies in their lack of resistance to high temperature which impacts the bitumen that is used in the asphalt mix pointing out that in case of the experiment success, the new technology will be used in the construction of main roads.
He pointed out that the smart roads exist in many places in the USA and such kind of roads is used for passage of trucks, yet it needs highly sophisticated and advanced equipments and exactness on mixing the materials composing the asphalt. Besides, such roads need skilled labor to handle at the work locations which require conducting courses for qualification and preparation of technicians working at the contracting companies to train them in the way of handling theses materials because they differ, of course, from the asphalt mix currently used.
He added that such new technology, in addition to extending the expected lifetime of roads to 50 years which thing saves money, time and effort on the part of the State, is characterized, as well, by its assistance in preserving the environment against pollution. The used tires are used in constructing these roads thus these tires are transformed into an important economic factor instead of being transformed into an environment for rodents and insects or a source of pollution of air as a result of burning them by some people.
He said: Many countries thought of constructing roads in this way yet they backed off thinking that it was some sort of imagination. Likewise, a sister country in the region intended to adopt the idea yet they retreated because of the cost on one hand and the feeling of the difficulty of implementation on the other and that their efforts would be in vain and the project would be no more than mere imagination.
He also added: After having constructed these smart roads there will be no fear from the destructive impacts of the passage of trucks on roads. These new roads will be distinct with their flexibility which would make them extendable and shrinkable in accordance with the weather condition. Besides, these roads are rough which creates some sort of cohesion for vehicles tires on running on these roads particularly during rainfall as such roughness prevents any sidewise swerving that may occur. He also pointed out that such swerving will be reduced to 90% if the vehicles speed is 120 Km/Hr, which would reduce the vehicles accidents.
As to the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment for the issue of roads construction, he said: Roads Construction has two aspects; one legislative and another executive. In this respect, the Ministry assumes the legislative aspect as it is concerned with setting up the specifications that all concerned authorities have to comply with.
He pointed out that the Ministry participated in setting up the Qatari Construction Code ” QCS2010″, i.e., the Code that defines all engineering specifications of constructing buildings and roads. He added that these specifications are set up in accordance with the international, regional and Gulf specifications.
He further said: The first specifications for construction of buildings and roads were set up in 2000. In 2002 the Building Code number 2 was set up. Five years later, i.e., in 2007 the third Code was set up. The fourth and last Code was set up in 2010.
He pointed out that in the last version of the Qatari Building Code emphasis was made on the quality and operability component which thing increases the buildings and roads expected lifetime. He also said that the fifth version of the Code would be issued in 2014 and would be supplied with the latest international specifications.
He emphasized that thanks to the ongoing updating processes of the Qatari Building Code, the expected lifetime of buildings in Qatar became 75 years. As regards roads, these depend on the designs. There are main roads and other secondary roads as well as paved roads. Each of these has a lifetime different from the other. He indicated that the expected lifetime of main roads reaches 20 years and if maintained regularly the expected lifetime may reach 35 years.
He also said: The Ministry of Environment participates in the National Traffic Safety Strategy emphasizing that the Strategy was developed in an ultimately professional and occupational inasmuch as is in conformity with the highest quality standards.
He also pointed out that in order for the Strategy to achieve the goals we all aspire to, there must be high concentration when placed in effect, then we will not see any dangerous accidents taking place in Qatar.
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