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COST 348 is one of the Actions supported by the EU Framework Research Programme. Following a proposal, COST348 was initiated in 2001. Since 2002 it has been run by the Management Committee, a group of scientific and technical experts, to enhance the process of material assessment and design, as well as to develop appropriate structural design methods and measurement techniques in order to reach for this technology the status of a generally accepted alternative in road constructions. The COST348 Action will also facilitate an exchange of experiences between different European countries.

Throughout Europe funding of infrastructure construction works, rebuilding and maintenance works is decreasing. Applying reinforcing technology to pavements and granular sub-bases the service life of the structures can be increased and maintenance costs reduced.

The main objectives of the COST 348 Action are:

Enhancement of reinforcement technologies will stimulate product development in the corresponding industry, thus providing both contractors and materials manufacturers with technological advantages in domestic and export projects. Growing demands are seen in countries dealing with problems of reflective cracking and in countries east of Central Europe where investments to improve the infrastructure are essential for economic growth. This can be assisted by enhancing the transfer of existing technology on low cost upgrading of damaged roads to the corresponding construction industry.

Besides the prevention of reflective cracking itself the methods should result in:

  1. Increased protection of the road pavement against cracking caused by traffic density - reinforcement can significantly increase the life cycle of pavement or reduce the thickness of pavement. Further to the economical effect such measure has evident environmental impact.
  2. Avoid the creation of rutting ("rails") in the road surface ( namely in slow upwards slope lanes and bus stops) with road safety impact.
  3. The waste emerging during reconstruction of reinforced roads should be recyclable and used for further production of this type of material.

The COST framework co-operation provides the benefit to stimulate the contacts and the transfer of knowledge between researchers, road authorities and the relevant materials industry as well as with experts in standardisation. Missing work to produce material testing methods can be initiated in order to establish the link between performance standards, based on index properties, and design needs.

The following countries have signed the Memorandum of Understanding and participated in the Action:

Austria, Belgium, Czech republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The COST348 action was approved for the period of three years that is January 2003-2005, later prolonged until January 2006.

More information about the COST 348 can be found on on the CORDIS1 AND CORDIS2 server.