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The success of urban concrete pavements in Latin America

Article-The success of urban concrete pavements in Latin America

O êxito dos pavimentos urbanos de concreto na América Latina.jpg
Cities with urban concrete pavements are already a reality in Latin America. The subject was discussed in one of the panels at the 2022 edition of the Concrete Show. Check it out!

Concrete pavement has become increasingly present – not just in Brazil, but in all other Latin American countries. Over the years, rigid paving has proven to be sustainable, durable and cost-effective for cities.

The Colombian city of Barranquilla is one of many where concrete paving is already a reality in most of the roads. So far, 80% of urban pavements are made of concrete.

During the 2022 edition of Concrete Show, Diego Jaramillo Porto, Civil Engineer and Director of Pavements and Infrastructure at the Federación Iberoamericana del Hormigón Premezclado (FIHP) was one of the speakers at the International Congress of Urban Concrete Pavements.

To learn more about the main topics discussed during Porto's presentation at the event, keep reading the article below. Enjoy!

Colombian Avenue with over 275,000 m³ of concrete

At the start of the presentation, Porto showed a video depicting one of the main avenues in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. With 24 kilometers in length and 12 lanes, the avenue has over 275,000 m³ of concrete considering only the lanes.

Urban roads, according to Porto, have a very different dynamic from highway pavements.

“First off, the concrete must be able to support very high loads. Traffic is cyclical, because people leave home and go to their destination and then go to their destination back home; in highways, the distances are longer and the roads usually collapse in the hours of most intense traffic”, pointed out the expert.

He continued: “It is very difficult to make interventions in cities. When an intervention takes place, in practice you have very little availability to close the street, so the interventions cannot last long.”

According to Porto, 51% of urban pavements in Colombia are made of concrete, while in Chile this number is even higher, amounting to 65%.

Starting in 1865: 157 years of urban paving in concrete

The civil engineer also presented some slides about the history and evolution of concrete paving.

The first known urban concrete pavement was built in 1891 in the city of Bellefontaine, Ohio (US).

Advantages and benefits of urban concrete paving

According to Porto, the advantages of betting on urban concrete paving include the longer useful life compared to traditional concrete, greater resistance to support loads, savings in terms of electricity, versatility and durability.

“It is ideal in BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) systems, it supports traffic of more than 300 million axles in 20 years with different types of buses; you see two different types of buses, as there are the articulated and the bi-articulated varieties”, the panelist observed.

Concrete paving easily withstands the weight of the buses which vary, according to Porto, between 32.5 and 45 tons of total load distributed over 4 axles.

Porto ended the international panel by stating that concrete should be the material of choice when it comes to urban paving.

“Concrete is the best solution because it has a better price, greater durability, greater sustainability and excellent social impact”, concluded the guest.

Leanr more about the Concrete Show - the constructive chain event.

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