2nd Concrete Pavements Congress and Exhibition held in Ankara

18 Kasım 2022

Speaking at the inauguration of the Concrete Pavements Congress and Exhibition, which was held for the second time this year in Ankara, Adil Karaismailoğlu, Transport and Infrastructure Minister, said, "Concrete pavements, whose effectiveness is known especially in heavy load transport, require less maintenance and repair." Fatih Yücelik, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TÜRKÇİMENTO, said that one of the most effective ways to reduce the current account deficit is concrete pavements made with 100% domestic production cement.

The 2nd Concrete Pavements Congress and Exhibition, organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, with the technical support of the General Directorate of Highways (KGM), Turkish Cement Industrialists' Association (TÜRKÇİMENTO), the Turkish National Committee for Roads (YTMK), and the European Concrete Paving Association (EUPAVE) was held on 16-17 November. The main theme of the 2nd Concrete Pavements Congress and Exhibition was determined this year as "Permanent and Rational Solutions in Sustainable Concrete Coatings."

Speaking at the opening of the two-day congress in the Halil Rıfat Paşa Hall of the General Directorate of Highways in Ankara, Adil Karaismailoğlu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, stated that the concept of road has a different importance for every culture and said, “The meaning of roads in our culture is accepted as the key to revival and development like 'end of longing,' 'reuniting with our loved ones,' and running waters.'

Saying, “During the period of our governments, 60% of our country's investment expenditures of more than 1 trillion 653 billion liras for transportation and communication investments belong to highways,” Minister Karaismailoğlu continued his speech as follows:  
“We invested 995 billion 900 million liras for highways between 2003 and 2022. In the last 20 years, we have increased the length of divided roads on our highways from 6 thousand 100 kilometers to more than 28 thousand 790 kilometers. We aimed to increase it to 38 thousand kilometers by 2053. We increased the highway length from 1,714 kilometers to 3 thousand 633 kilometers. In 2023, we will reach 3 thousand 726 kilometers. We planned to build more than 5,800 kilometers of new highways in our country by 2053.”  

We believe in the importance of 'concrete pavements,' which is an alternative construction system, in addition to asphalt technology, on our highways. Concrete pavements, whose effectiveness is known particularly in heavy load transportation, require less maintenance and repair. We made the Afyon-İscehisar road of 2 thousand meters in 2004, the Hasdal Kemerburgaz road of 3 thousand 500 meters in 2006, the Ordu-Ulubey road of 1000 meters in 2007, the İzmit-Yalova state road of 1,600 meters in 2009 in the form of concrete pavements. Additionally, we are constructing the 21 kilometer Kemaliye-Dutluca road also as a concrete pavement.”

Mentioning that the performances of the concrete pavements are followed according to the terrain, climate, and their densities, Adil Karaismailoğlu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, said that in the two-day Congress, they would scrutinize the experiences of the countries that have progressed in concrete pavements in detail.

Abdülkadir Uraloğlu, Highways General Manager, said in his speech that technological developments affect highways, which are the foundation of development, just like all sectors. Stating that they have been using asphalt, which is a flexible superstructure in the road network, since the day it was established as the General Directorate of Highways, Uraloğlu said, “Nevertheless, we are in contact with our sector representatives concerning the applicability of different superstructures like concrete pavements. Within the scope of the protocol we entered into with Turkish Cement Industrialists' Association, we had the opportunity to test our concrete pavements in short distances in Istanbul, Kocaeli, Afyon, and Ordu.”

Abdülkadir Uraloğlu, Highways General Manager, said:  
“With the ‘Concrete Pavement Paving Technical Specification’ we have drawn up, we have determined the materials and construction phases for the concrete pavements to be comfortable and with long life.  We have also created the concrete pavement design guide specific to the conditions of our country and published it as a basic resource that all stakeholders, including respective institutions, organizations, and the private sector, can benefit from in the transportation sector.  With all the applications in our road network, details such as sufficient capacity equipment, and sensitive and experienced workmanship at every stage, especially the examination of material and reinforcement properties that affect the performance and behavior of concrete pavements, joint design and construction, placement of connection and sliding bars, and curing of concrete will be closely scrutinized.  
As the General Directorate of Highways, we have attained significant gains in terms of time and fuel savings, and reduction of carbon emissions, with the studies we have conducted on our road network in recent years.  


Fatih Yücelik, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TÜRKÇİMENTO, highlighted the fact that the choice of the superstructure type for roads that have long life, that require less maintenance, and that provide good performance to our citizens, has gained importance in Turkey, which is developing and growing with each passing year. Fatih Yücelik said, “As Turkey, we are a country that lacks oil resources, but we are a cement superpower. Our country, which is the largest cement producer in Europe, is in a position to meet a significant part of its road needs entirely with domestic cement. One of the most effective ways to reduce the current account deficit is concrete pavements made with 100% domestic production cement. Right at this point, as TÜRKÇİMENTO, we put excessive emphasis on the issue of "Concrete Pavements" with the aim of contributing to the creation of a national transportation system that provides safe, economical, environment-friendly, and contemporary services.  

Expressing that 60% of the rural roads in Belgium and 38% in Germany consist of concrete pavements today, Yücelik continued his words as follows:
 “Since 2017, the use of roller compacted concrete pavements in our country's rural road network has accelerated fast. This road type, which is preferred by Special Provincial Administrations and Municipalities, both contributes to our country's economy as domestic production and provides service to our citizens thanks to its long life. As a result of the successful endeavors that we, as the Union,  have carried out with public institutions, we have brought together 69 cities with concrete pavements as of July this year. Concrete Pavements are a long-lasting, sturdy, and domestic alternative that requires very little maintenance and repair throughout the life of a project.”  

Underlining that concrete barriers, which reduce the death rate by approximately 20% in traffic accidents caused by crossing the opposite lane on divided roads, are widely used in Europe, Fatih Yücelik stated that the use of concrete barriers in central refuges in accordance with EN 1317 standard must become widespread in our country.


In his speech at the inauguration, Nihat Özdemir, Vice Chairman of the TÜRKÇİMENTO Board of Directors, said:  “In my opinion, concrete pavements that we do not use widely yet in our developing road network must also be made use of. Concrete pavements are widely used in Europe and the US. Continuously reinforced concrete pavement technology, which is a sturdy and domestic alternative for highways, is resistant to heavy vehicle traffic loads and provides fuel savings of 1 liter per vehicle per 200 kilometers. They also have a lifespan of more than 50 years. With the use of new generation concrete surfaces in this concrete pavement type, it is possible to construct comfortable and quiet roads in our country like in Europe. Concrete pavements produced from inorganic materials do not burn and do not release toxic gasses. With this feature, it is obligatory to use concrete pavements for fire safety in tunnels in many countries in Europe. I wish that this practice will set an example for our country.”    

Reminding that the roads built with the roller compacted concrete technique can be opened to traffic within 24 hours, Nihat Özdemir said, “I would like to underline once again that concrete pavements are both economically and environmentally sustainable. Cement and concrete, which are not dependent on foreign sources, are completely domestic products. Making use of concrete pavements as an alternative on the roads we will build, and even directly preferring them in regions with heavy traffic load and high temperature will contribute to our country's economy by reducing the current account deficit.