Demonstration, Investigation and Reference Area of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt)
It is anticipated that the situation of road infrastructure in the Federal Republic of Germany will significantly change in the coming years and decades. As a result of increased globalisation and the growing dependence on mobility, passenger and freight traffic will continue to increase. It is recognised that existing road infrastructure is aging and projected climate change challenges will also have an effect on infrastructure. Additionally, raw materials are expected to become scarcer in the future, and an aging society also places different demands on the road infrastructure.
Under these future conditions, a significant challenge is to ensure the high mobility and efficiency standards that society requires for its wellbeing. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) therefore launched the research programme "Roads in the 21st Century" to develop innovative solutions for these challenges. The elements of the road infrastructure of the future will be developed in laboratories and testing facilities across a variety of research projects related to this framework.
The new technologies that will come from the research’s findings obtained must prove before its widespread use across the road network that, on the one hand, they fulfil all mandatory high safety requirements for road infrastructure, and, on the other, that they are economic, ecological and socially compatible alternatives to the existing standards. For this purpose, realistic, large-scale studies on suitable test areas are necessary. Since such areas are not always available to the required extent, duraBASt will help create this possibility for BASt and its partners from industry and research.
In a context of rapidly changing boundary conditions, road infrastructure and its maintenance planning takes on an increasingly important role. This planning is based on regular monitoring of road conditions through means of special measurement technology. In order to further develop and ensure the accuracy of the measurement equipment, a "reference road" composed of sections that permanently have the same skid resistance, surface texture, evenness and pre-defined surface damage is required.
The "Demonstration, Investigation and Reference Area" of the Federal Highway Research Institute (German acronym: duraBASt) will serve as "reference road" and enable realistic tests on a scale of 1:1.
duraBASt is conceived as a permanent facility of BASt with a usage period of approximately 30 years. The test site will help to the successful and quick transfer of innovations to already established construction practices. Therefore, by using these innovations, a sustainable adaptation of road traffic infrastructure to the above described future challenges can be achieved.