1000 participants from 42 countries, 4 days filled with
discussion panels and exhibition visits, a rich program of accompanying events
- this is a brief summary of the WInter Road Congress in Gdańsk.
Taking place on February 20-23rd, at the Amber Expo Fair and Conference Center in Gdańsk, the 15th International Winter Road Congress was the largest such event in the history of Poland's road industry. This event, organized every four years by the World Road Association PIARC, was held for the first time in this part of Europe. Co-organizers were: General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, which in PIARC represents the Polish government administration and the city of Gdańsk. The Polish Road Congress, which was recognized by PIARC as its National Committee, also contributed.
Congress is traditionally an opportunity to exchange experiences regarding winter road maintenance. As part of technical sessions held in parallel, such different aspects of using roads in winter and care for their passability as meteorological forecasting, road traffic characteristics in winter, road work organization or the specificity of tunnel and bridge management in winter were presented. Presentations on detection methods used for winter road maintenance were also very popular. Taisto Haavasoja from Finland spoke, for example, about the use of cruise buses to collect weather data on the roads. Naturally, materials for combating slipperiness took a lot of space - here an interesting comparison of the use of brine and pre-moistened salt on the Scottish roads was presented by Martin Thomson. An interesting presentation about the influence of anti-icing salt on corrosion of the bridge structure was presented by Ivana Durickovic from France.
The experiences of Scandinavian countries in the winter maintenance of bicycle roads were also interesting. Visitors from Sweden talked about the method of keeping the paths of "sweep-salting", which consists in sucking snow and fighting slip with brine or pre-moistened salt. It is particularly effective in seaside towns where there is high humidity. The presentation of the "Arctic Intelligent Corridor" made a lot of interest. It runs between Finland and Norway behind the Arctic Circle and provides snow-covered driving with a completely autonomous car without a driver. The corridor is connected to railway stations, airports or the seaport in Tromsø. It allows, for example, to deliver a given product without risking driving in dangerous winter conditions.