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Sander den Blanken, Arup

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  • 1. The Drive to Maintain the Existing European Bridge Network Interview by Helen Winsor, Construction IQSander den Blanken, Associate Director at Arup, joins Construction IQ to provide an overview of the key projects and trends in the European bridge construction market – highlighting thefocus on maintaining the existing network. He also explains the key factors in the selection ofmaterials, machinery and equipment and new ideas coming on stream to extend the life cycle of existing bridges. He also offers some best practice tips on how to ensure effective project execution with quality control systems. Finally he provides a snapshot of some of the areas where Arup is particularly embracing or leading on new trends.Construction IQ: Hello, and welcome to this IQPC podcast, presented by Construction IQ inconjunction with the forthcoming Bridges EU and Russia Conference. Im your host today,Helen Winsor, and Im delighted to be joined by one our key speakers, Sander den Blanken,Associate Director at Arup. Sander, welcome to the show. How are you today?S den Blanken: Im fine, thank you, Helen.Construction IQ: Great of you to join us ahead of the conference. So today Id like to get a bitof a snapshot of the topics youll be discussing in your presentation as a taster for theaudience on what they can expect. So firstly, could you give us a brief overview of some ofthe key projects and trends in the European bridge construction market that we should beaware of today?S den Blanken: Yes. Helen, whats typical of today is that the current focus in bridgeconstruction is mainly design and build projects and mainly focusing on the widening schemeof existing railroads, but also existing highway roads. And all of them include thestrengthening, refurbishing of existing assets because its in mainly the cases of widening ofan existing scheme. And I think thats more and more coming basically to maturity. And if youlook at 20 years ago its mainly about new builds and going for the lowest construction costswith minimal value. At the moment its about reduction of the total life cycle costs, but also toincrease value and to minimise traffic hindrance for the existing traffic on the network. And inat this moment its typically to incentives those aspects .So investing in this context, we find, particularly, incentives to reduce those particularelements for the existing network. And I think at the moment thats the biggest challenge forcontractors, engineers and also for designers, to deal with that on the current market.And besides that, I think whats also quite interesting to look at is the duration of the designlife, not only for new build but also for existing assets. I think if you look 30 years back thedevelopment of traffic and the number of vehicles and the height of the loads has increaseddramatically. So we might want to reconsider the normal design life, which we at the momentassume which is about 100 years, whether thats still valid and whether that still makes senseknowing what has happened in the last 30 years. And in that case it does make more senseto look at the smaller scope, so smaller period of time to design for.And I think thats at the moment the main challenges and issues which were dealing with inthe bridge construction market.Construction IQ: So with this focus on maintaining the existing network as the main drive atthe moment, what are the key factors in selection of materials, machinery and equipment? 1
  • 2. And also, can you reflect on any new ideas coming on stream, how people are workingdifferently with advances?To download this interview in full, please click here:http://www.bridgesrussia.com/Event.aspx?id=849696Sander den Blanken will be speaking at the forthcoming Bridges EU and Russia Conference,due to take place 27 February to 1 March 2013 at the Crowne Plaza, Copenhagen TowersHotel, Copenhagen, Denmark. For information about this event please visitwww.bridgesrussia.com, email enquire@iqpc.co.uk or call +44 (0) 207 368 9300.IQPCPlease note that we do all we can to ensure accuracy within the translation to word of audio interviews but that errors may stillunderstandably occur in some cases. If you believe that a serious inaccuracy has been made within the text, please contact +44(0) 207 368 9425 or email helen.winsor@iqpc.co.uk. 2

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