The repair workshop at Codimatra
Bitumen shortage, road conditions alert !
At the end of June, the Routes de France organisation announced that construction companies were experiencing a bitumen shortage. And the road conditions are getting more and more alarming. Focus on the state of the sector.
Overwhelming road conditions according to the Ministry of Transport
At the end of summer 2018, a report published by the Ministry of Transport of France and conducted by various specialised firms (NiBuxx, IMDM) was already sounding the alarm on the state of the national road network. In addition to possible potholes, some bridges and road tunnels are in poor condition. Of the 12,000 km of roads managed by the state, 17% have been damaged (including 7% of the infrastructure). With such a construction site on the entire network, the demand for road works and equipment such as a compactor is high... And yet, many political and environmental factors hinder the road construction sector, which is essential to ensure road safety and maintenance. Associations such as 40 million motorists argue that almost half of all road accidents are reported to be influenced by poor maintenance of road infrastructure. The association even invites motorists to report dilapidated and dangerous roads via the website ''I have pain in my road''. The main problem would be the lack of investment in this road network rehabilitation, the report estimates that €1 billion per year would be needed for 20 years, where the sector would only have €800 million per year, or a 20% shortfall in the necessary budget.
The negotiations around the GNR, what impact should be expected for the sector ?
Debates on the taxation of off-road diesel fuel (NRT) continue. The removal of this tax advantage seems inevitable. It is to be hoped that it will be progressive for the good health of public works professionals who must recalculate their costs and take these tax measures into account. Unfortunately, craftsmen and SMEs will be the first to be affected, but this also has an impact on the road construction and maintenance sector because the fleet is currently far from being made up of hybrid machines or machines with engines that consume little fuel. If this deletion is confirmed, it is likely to take effect after 2020 and to be gradual.
A bitumen shortage that does not make things better
Already present last summer, the bitumen shortage is returning in 2019. It is the Routes de France office, which explains that construction companies have many problems obtaining bitumen on their sites. The road construction sector is not the only one concerned, urban development and roads are also concerned. Indeed, there are fewer refineries than before in France but also in Europe, only 6 refineries making bitumen in France would be active. In addition, bitumen exports to Asian markets are becoming more and more attractive, as strong demand inevitably increases prices.
What equipment for road or motorway construction ?
For road construction, road industry companies can use many public works machines. First of all, there are the graders responsible for regaling the asphalt (or any binder) laid by the paver screed, the wide central blade of this construction machine is very efficient. As a result, many types of compactors can be used, such as tandem or mixed compactors with vibrating ball, then pneumatic compactors, more useful for top coats.
Need parts for your road construction machine ?
Does your machine have any difficulties ? Do you notice a malfunction in a part ? At Codimatra, we supply parts for all types of construction machinery. For your compactors, you can find, for example, hydraulic vibration motors for vibrating cylinders. You can also find grader blades.
The bitumen shortage is expected to continue until the fall, with the hope that road repairs will be completed quickly to cope with a severe winter potential. You can also find our article about the construction of a bridge in the Pyrenees.