Innovation for safe and reliable infrastructure

08.28.2018

Recent incidents have been a stark reminder of the critical role of infrastructure in our lives. Urbanized modern society relies on bridges, roads, ports and airports. Maintaining these assets is key to their safety and reliability.

 

A trillion-dollar challenge

McKinsey & Company estimates that USD 3.7 trillion of investment in economic infrastructure is needed worldwide every year1. Given restrained public budgets everywhere, it remains important to invest efficiently in infrastructure maintenance.

Innovation is the answer to many of these challenges. The building materials sector already today offers solutions that help both to rehabilitate existing infrastructure as well as to support new projects. Beyond cost-effectiveness, the ultimate goal is to provide durable, long-lasting solutions.

Solutions that work

LafargeHolcim’s Ductal® is one of a series of products that has proven to serve the special needs of road infrastructure maintenance contractors and at the same time to be cost-efficient. Ductal® is an Ultra-High Performance Concrete reinforced by metallic fibers. These durability parameters and its different applications lead to shorter downtimes and better durability.

 

Ductal® overlay solution being applied to the two 2.2 km-long Chillon Viaducts in Switzerland, where they form one of the most spectacular structures of the Swiss highway system. Work done with partner Walo Bertschinger.

 

Currently, it is used in a range of engineering projects, notably bridge rehabilitation and retrofitting. Ductal® is used for joint fill to connect precast elements, on bridge deck overlays that ensure durability for more than 150 years as well as for pier jacketing to guarantee longevity and seismic resistance. This innovative material has already strengthened such iconic structures as Switzerland’s Chillon Viaducts, New York’s Pulaski Skyway, and more than 300 other bridges worldwide.

In Belgrade, LafargeHolcim supplied 30,000 tonnes of cement to the city’s centerpiece Ada Bridge, which is both the highest in Serbia and even the largest single pylon suspension bridge in the world. The bridge has made the city greener and better-connected, reducing the traffic across other Sava river bridges in Belgrade by about 40%, saving up to 11 tons of petrol per year.

1Estimate extends until 2035, with “economic infrastructure” defined as roads, railways, ports, airports, power, water, and telecommunications. Source.
The Pulaski Skyway which runs between Jersey City and Newark, USA, underwent important renovation works using Ductal® joint fill solutions.

 

 
A new 45-mm Ductal® overlay is applied during the Chillon Viaducts rehabilitation. Project partner: Walo Bertschinger
 
Member company Aggregate Industries (UK) has opened a new GBP 3.5 million asphalt plant dedicated exclusively to supplying the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme, England’s largest road improvement project.