Progress & Result

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LIFE15 ENV/IT/000268




Being the project aimed to promote resource efficiency and waste management and improving health conditions of the population, the data on socio-economic characteristics are a relevant part of the whole project.

The achievements can be summarized in terms of:

Socio-economic and environmental benefits due to enhanced recycling market and to the use the WMA technology achievable through the application of new warm asphalt mixes composed by RAP and CRM from ELTs, compared to traditional hot mixes.




  • About 42,000 kg of rubber from ELTs have been recycled. The actual results are about double those expected (42,000 kg actual vs 24,000 Kg expected)
  • Reduction of the quantity of virgin stone aggregates and bitumen by using RAP: 327 tons of RAP and about 15 tons of bitumen deriving from it were used, so that as many virgin materials were saved.
  • Reduction of working temperatures using WMA technology instead of traditional HMA. A total of about 118000 MJ of energy were saved in the production of 4561 m of experimental Low Noise Pavement Surfaces (LNPs).
NEREIDE Achievements - 1.jpg

Socio-economic and environmental benefits due to noise quality improvements: Lden measured values were elaborated to obtain DALY values that were considered as estimate for health improvement. 


Comparing measures ANTE – POST mitigation actions, it results:

  •  Lden value measured on each site (each consisting of 6 different  trials sections) is equal to - 3.5 dB for site I and - 4.0 dB for site II.
  • In terms of  disability-adjusted life years (DALY), the total DALY is reduced by 4.
  • The result of the survey on the population carried out through interviews or questionnaires showed a general positive impact as a lowering of perceived noise; the new road pavement looks effective in reducing the noise emission at the receiver also from the point of view of the annoyance perceived.
NEREIDE Achievements - 2.jpg

Socio economic effects due to the improvement of occupational health: the improvement of occupational health was evaluated from PAH parameters.

  • It came out that all the concentrations measured are under the most restricted limits and data related to the rubberized asphalt is lower than non-rubberized asphalt

Socio-economic and environmental effects due to capacity building improvements in the local territory and in EU: the impact was monitored according to the number of informed municipalities, authorities and employers involved in the local activities and in the networking and dissemination activities. Authorities and working groups involved in networking and dissemination will be reported as a proxy of the knowledge transfer performed during the project.

  • The company winning the tender and the ones informed during the dissemination activities will be able to replicate the technologies and foster the use of such mixtures and techniques at least at national level.
  • The experience of local companies will take positive effects to local economy due to more skilled and informed employers.
  • The positive impact of the project in terms of capacity building improvements are directly linked also to the effect of dissemination activities and networking opportunities carried out during the Life NEREiDE Project.


Deliverables C.2 Assessment of the socio economic impact 

B.17b Report on replication and transfer strategy 

Activities update at March 2021

The NEREiDE project aims to demonstrate the use of new porous asphalt pavements and low noise surfaces constructed by using RAP, crumb rubber from scrap tires and warm mix technologies, as a valuable solution for reducing the road traffic noise, for increasing the use of reclaimed materials in new (and rehabilitated) pavements, for reducing carbon emissions during paving operations and, at the same time, for improving road safety.

In order to fulfil these objectives, 12 trial sections, of about 400 m each, have been designed and constructed by using different types of wearing course asphalt mixtures (one mix per trial section). Furthermore, a small test track of PERS (Poro-Elastic Road Surface) mixture have been constructed and tested in Belgium.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the mitigation measures, a detailed analysis of the benefits has been carried out on the new-constructed pavements. This analysis concerned the evaluation of the qualitative/quantitative environmental benefits and the socio-economic impact associated with materials and technologies employed. In this perspective, the evaluation of the functional and acoustic performances of the new constructed pavements represents a key role in the assessment of the mitigation actions: a before-after evaluation of the mechanical and functional (including noise performance) characteristics of the existing and of the new-constructed pavements has been carried out over time. Also psychoacoustic surveys have been submitted to the exposed population.

The achievements of the project can be clustered and summarized as below:

1.                  Design and construction of the experimental pavements

The design of the asphalt pavement sections planned in two experimental sites in Italy, as well as the Belgian PERS test track, have been concluded and the mixtures were put in place.

The urban areas for implementation of demonstrative actions in Italy were selected on two regional roads which cross two different provinces of Tuscany: SR 439 “Sarzanese Valdera” (first site – Massarosa (LU)) and SR 71 “Umbro Casentinese” (second site - Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino (AR)).

The six typologies of wearing courses constructed in the first site were 2 reference mixtures produced by using hot mix technology (HMA) and 4 new LNP surfaces containing CRM, added by wet and dry process, and produced by using warm mix technology (WMA).

The other six typologies constructed in the second site were 6 new LNP surfaces, still composed of CRM and, in addition, of RAP material in different percentages and produced by using warm mix technology (WMA).

In the frame of this project, a test track was built on a trafficked road in Ghent, Belgium, with prefab poro-elastic (PERS) tiles. The test track demonstrated the unequalled performance with respect to noise reduction of PERS. However due to durability problems, it had to be removed prematurely after about 1,5 years. The failure turned out to be caused by a too rough textured underlayer and cohesion problems originating from the manufacturing. However, a maximum of data has been extracted from the test track before it has been removed, by means of an extensive monitoring program. Recommendations have been formulated in order to avoid failures for his reason for future PERS surfaces. The preventive choice not to build a long stretch in Italy proved to be right.

2.                  Ante-operam monitoring surveys and definition of acoustic measurement protocols

The monitoring of the acoustic performance (noise level) and of the psychoacoustic monitoring campaign and social survey in the planning sites were completed. Psychoacoustics measurements in the first selected sites (ante-operam) have been performed in May and June 2017 while in the second selected sites has been performed in October and November 2018. The social surveys have been ended respectively in November 2017 the first one and the second one is ended in December 2018.These were necessary as a starting point for assessing the effectiveness of the mitigation actions following a before-after approach.

The survey carried out to evaluate the structural properties of existing pavements, performed by Falling Weight Deflectometer tests, allowed to define the ante-operam structural characteristics of the pavements on which the new mixtures were laid both in the first and in the second implementation site. Findings of FWD surveys were used to estimate the residual pavement life and critical strain (dependent on the amount of traffic) and to plan a deeper maintenance intervention, such as the milling and the reconstruction of a new binder layer, in those areas where the threshold values were not respected. This was necessary to ensure a stable laying surface for the experimental wearing courses

3.                  Post-operam monitoring and surveys and laboratory characterization test

The monitoring of the acoustic performances and of the psychoacoustic and social survey of the new road surfaces within the selected areas has been completed: CPX and SPB have been measured as noise indicators, and Lden and DALY have been evaluated as healt improvement indicators.

The measurement of the absorption coefficient of the road pavement using a mobile laboratory by a contactless way, while the vehicle is running, represents a new high-performance measurement method developed whithin the NEREiDE project, instead of other techniques, such as the Kund's tube or the Adrienne method, which are more invasive and in any case are static methods. The new instrument will be able to give real time results of acoustical absorption coefficient measurement. Also the surface characteristics, such as friction, macrotexture and IRI have been evaluated in all the new pavement sections; post-operam monitoring campaigns were carried to evaluate the evolution of these functional performances over time; in particular, four surveys have been performed for the Site I and two for the Site II.

In order to fully characterize the behavior of each asphalt mixture laid, volumetric and mechanical tests were conducted for all the experimental mixtures. Findings highlight good performance. Findings show good performance from all points of view. The overall results of surveys and laboratory tests have been collected to develop Action B16.

The fruitful dissemination effort of the staff and the availability of DICI as regards the technical aspect of support the authorities and/or the companies in the phases of mix design and production of the LNPs has made it possible to raise awareness road management bodies, such as ANAS and other public body affiliate with Tuscany Region, to put into practice the findings of the NEREiDE in two acoustic remediation works, in compliance with intervention plans on noise pollution. In details, the replication works concerned:

1.                 the paving of two asphalt pavement sections of 400 m each on a section of the S.S 73 "Senese-Aretina" near Sansepolcro (Arezzo- Tuscany, Italy) with the two dense graded mixtures containing CRM by wet and dry process put in place in site II of NEREiDE, promoted by ANAS SpA (Azienda Nazionale Autonoma Strade), the principal body for the managing of the italian roads.

2.                 the paving of two asphalt pavement sections of more than 1 Km each on a section of the SR 2 regional road in the municipality of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa (Firenze- Tuscany, Italy) and on the SR 436 regional road in the municipality of San Pierino- Fucecchio (Firenze- Tuscany, Italy) with the gap graded mixtures containing both CRM by wet process and RAP realized in site II of NEREiDE, promoted by by the Construction Sector of Firenze-Prato and Pistoia affiliated with Tuscany Region

The main objectives, that with this initiative have been achieved, are at the same time:

-        the replicability of the project by the reproduction of 2 types of NEREiDE mixtures;

-        a policy implication, if findings from these mixtures will be incorporated within the National Technical Specifications for new pavement construction and rehabilitation, such as the ANAS guidelines


Activities updates at December 2019 

1. Selection of urban areas where the experimental sections will be constructed.

At the end of 2018 six experimental stretches of road were made on the “SRT 439 Sarzanese-Valdera” in the town of Massarosa (LU). Between April and May 2019 the remaining six stretches were made on the “SRT 71Umbro-Casentinese” in the cities of Arezzo and Castiglion Fiorentino (AR).

2. Design of the experimental mixtures

The experimental compound design was made following two distinctive steps at about one year’s distance one from the other. In the first phase, the compounds containing rubber powders provided for Site I were studied. In the second phase, instead, the compounds containing rubber powders and millings were developed for Site II.

The first step was to define the main quantities of rubber powders and millings that could be introduced into the compounds without compromising their mechanical performances, thanks to specific laboratory tests carried out on binding agents and mastics (compounds made of raw bitumen + part of the RAP at 0.15 mm). At the same time, they would also have to guarantee the required acoustic and functional performances. The powders from ELTs used in the production of bituminous conglomerates can be obtained from tyres for automobiles or trucks. The most used material in the creation of the compound for automobile tyres is the polymer known as Styrene-Butadiene-Rubber (SBR). This is a copolymer of synthetic rubber composed of styrene and butadiene. The compound for truck tyres is, instead, mainly composed of natural rubber (NR). Normally, rubber powder deriving from both tyre typologies is used in the measure of 50% each. Thus, the deriving powder is identified as SBR/NR.

All compounds created within the scope of the NEREIDE project – to the exception of the traditional ones used as reference – were made introducing rubber powders using both the dry and the wet method. For what concerns the content of RAP to be used, the maximum percentages of reuse were identified for each typology of compound, thus guaranteeing the compliance with two fundamental requisites:

·         definition of a new grading curve of the compound aiming at guaranteeing the creation of a specific texture of the surface of the finished layer, necessary to reduce noise generation;

·         adequate resistance to fatigue of the mastics produced with the maximum percentage of RAP that would not compromise the useful life of the surface.

A further step was the one of identifying the additives necessary for the reduction of the temperatures for mixing and laying of the compounds (warm technology), both through rheological measurements on the bitumen with a rotational rheometer, and by the means of workability measurements carried out on the compounds with a Gyratory Pressure Distribution Analyzer (GPDA) during their thickening.

3. Construction of new pavements 

The urban stretches of road that underwent renovation were chosen based on a priority index linked to the presence of several schools and over 800 people exposed to daily noise levels higher than 65 dB(A).

The laying of the superficial wearing courses was preceded by the removal of a 4-cm-thick layer of the previous surface and the renovation of the worst damaged parts by the means of the reconstruction of the binder course. The areas needing renovation were identified thanks to the monitoring of the structural characteristics of the existing surface with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD), and the constant monitoring of the thickness of the layers with a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).

The first experimental layer is 2,400 metres long. It was identified on the “SRT 439 Sarzanese-Valdera” in the borough of Quiesa and Pian del Quercione, part of the town of Massarosa (LU). The second stretch of road is about 3,000 metres long and it is located along the “SRT 71 Umbro-Casentinese”, in the cities of Arezzo (in the boroughs of Rigutino, Policiano and Il Matto) and Castiglion Fiorentino (AR).

The typologies of compounds used on Site I were:

·         two hot “traditional” control mixes, of which:

A 0-12 porous compound;

A 0-12 Splittmastix Asphalt compound (SMA);

·         Four innovative “warm” compounds, containing rubber powder with uneven grain sizes, of which:

two with open graded grain sizes (dry and wet process);

two with gap graded grain sizes (dry and wet process);

Six innovative “warm” compounds containing rubber powder and millings (RAP) were used for Site II. In particular:

·         four with uneven grain size, of which:

·          two with open graded grain sizes (dry and wet process);

·           two with gap graded grain sizes (dry and wet process);

·         two with even, dense graded grain sizes (dry and wet process).


4. Ante-operam monitoring surveys and definition of acoustic measurement protocols

Ante e post-operam monitoring activities have been carried out on the stretches of road subject of intervention. This has been done to record the acoustic, structural, and functional indicators that allow to quantify the obtained benefits for a before-after type of approach. Moreover, the monitoring of such indicators has allowed to establish their evolution in the course of time due to the passage of traffic. The evaluation of the superficial characteristics has been carried out in terms of macrotexture, regularity, and adherence. The profiles for the calculation of the macrotexture indexes and of regularity have been obtained by the means of a laser profilometer. The macrotexture has been evaluated from the obtained profiles with reference to ETD terms and IRI regularity. The adherence measurements have been executed with a BV11 skiddometer and have been expressed in terms of BPN, CAT, and F60 (according to the IFI model). Such indicators fall within the Life Performance Indicators (LPI) that represent the monitoring indexes of the impacts of the project.

5. Post-operam monitoring and surveys

Three monitoring sessions for texture, adherence, and regularity have so far been carried on Site I of Massarosa (LU). 1 monitoring activity has been executed on Site II of Arezzo and Castiglion Fiorentino (AR). The results are completely satisfying.  

A quantitative analysis of the benefits obtained from the project implementation has been carried out in order to quantify the consumption of matter, energy, as well as the emissions of CO2 and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) released in the environment and associated to the proposed intervention. The results have shown that the production of the compounds with warm technology and the use of recycled materials allow a noticeable reduction of the environmental impact associated with the processes of the creation of the wearing courses. This represents a valid alternative to the traditional techniques and can fully satisfy the expected the “eco-environmental” results. In particular, the use of recycled materials allows a reduction of the amount of waste disposed in a landfill. More importantly, it allows to achieve important savings of virgin raw materials such as bitumen and aggregates, in particular with reference to asphalt millings. Moreover, the reduction of the temperatures of both production and surfacing (Figure 5) allows the improvement of the workers’ health conditions.

6. Future activities

Post-operam acoustic and functional monitoring campaigns are planned for the following months on the surfaces of Site II. The new acoustic protocols of tyre rolling noise measurement will be experimented on these surfaces. The final part of the project will be the drafting of the Guidelines that will contain useful indications for the identification of technologies, materials, and typologies of intervention to be adopted without affecting the mechanical performances and the functional characteristic of the new surfaces.  

Activities update at February 2019

1. Selection of urban areas where the experimental sections will be constructed.

The urban areas for implementation of demonstrative actions were selected on two regional roads which cross two different provinces of Tuscany: SR 439 “Sarzanese Valdera” (1st site – Massarosa (LU)) and SR 71 “Umbro Casentinese” (2nd site - Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino (AR).

2. Design of the experimental mixtures

The design of the mixtures represents a key step in the accomplishment of the project since a deep understanding of the material and mixture properties used in the pavements is fundamental to predict the pavement performance at the design level. The design of the pavement sections planned in the first paving period in Italy, as well as the Belgian PERS test track, have been concluded and the mixtures were put in place. Guidelines for the design of the pavement sections both at first and second site have been drafted as foreseen.

3. Construction of new pavements 

The reference mixtures at first site were laid on the regional road SRT 439 “Sarzanese Valdera” in the municipality of Massarosa (Lucca -Tuscany); the trial sections referred to as “Section I” and “Section II”. Two of the six mixtures including crumb rubber by wet process have been laid on Section I (Pian del Quercione) - from Km 12+100 to Km 12+900; each experimental wearing course is about 400 m long.

The remaining 4, 2 of them include crumb rubber by dry process and 2 HMA control mixtures, have been laid on Section II (Bozzano /Quiesa) - from Km 16+800 to Km 18+400.

For the demonstration of PERS in Belgium, the test track was constructed in Ghent by applying the PERS over the full width of one lane and hence not only in the wheel tracks, as done in the previous PERSUADE project. For the PERS layer prefab slabs 1 m x 0,5 m x 3 cm were used.

The construction of the pavement sections at a second site, provided on the SR 71 regional road in the municipalities of Arezzo and Castiglion Fiorentino (AR), will start in March 2019.

4.  Ante-operam monitoring surveys and definition of acoustic measurement protocols

The monitoring of the acoustic performance (noise level) of the existing road surfaces within the selected areas and of the psychoacoustic monitoring campaign and social survey in the planning sites (‘ante-operam’) are in progress. In particular, the selection of the acoustical and psychoacoustic parameters for the on-site measurements is completed and noise measurements ante operam are completed on both sites.

Psychoacoustics measurements in the first selected sites (ante-operam) have been performed in May and June 2017 while in the second selected sites has been performed in October and November 2018. The first social survey respectively has been ended in November 2017 and the second social survey is still in progress.

The set-up of the new methodology for urban Pass-By is completed. The development and realization of an on-site acoustical absorption measurement method on a mobile laboratory is in progress. The study of the system and development of the algorithms to evaluate the acoustical absorption coefficient have been performed. The validation of Pass by method is completed, meanwhile, the one on the absorption system is in standby, waiting for the device to be validated.

The survey carried out to evaluate the structural properties of existing pavements, performed by FWD tests, has allowed to define the ante-operam structural characteristics of the existing pavements both in the first and in the second implementation site.

5. Post-operam monitoring and surveys

The monitoring of the acoustic performance of the new road surfaces within the selected areas and of the psychoacoustic monitoring campaign and social survey in the planning sites (‘post-operam’) are in progress. In particular, post-operam noise measurements at first site is completed; psychoacoustic post operam at first site measurement has been performed and the results will be provided as soon as analysis will be ended.

The monitoring of the surface characteristics, such as friction, macrotexture and IRI as well as those volumetric and mechanical have been conducted for all the new pavement sections at first site, with the exception of the small PERS test track in Belgium. Data coming from the surveys as well as materials employed, emissions, consumption, etc. have been used to evaluate the benefits of the project achieved until now.

6. Dissemination activities, replication, policy implications

The NEREIDE project is gaining a lot of interest and acclaims. About 150 articles were published about Nereide on the Italian newspapers. Several exhaustive technical articles were published on the main national technical monthly magazine on roads and infrastructures called Strade&Autostrade and Le Strade. Dedicated pieces have been published on La Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore, La Repubblica-Affari&Finanza and on L’Economia-Corriere della Sera, the three most widespread newspapers in Italy that also represent an authoritative voice on the national industry and economy trends. It is considered appropriate to underline that the Nereide project was selected by the Italian Ministry of the Environment-MATTM as the “LIFE project of the month” in July 2018. Great interest on the Nereide project was demonstrated by Public administrations of other regional municipalities. The first pavement sections realized in Tuscany has been visited by mayor of Calenzano and great satisfaction has been expressed by the major of Massarosa for the choice of his municipality for the NEREiDE innovative experiment that has had undoubted positive repercussions both on the environmental level on the road safety and on improving the quality of life for all those who live along the new road sections.

Papers and oral presentations were given both at national Italian conference in acoustics and in special technical sections at international conferences.

Activities update at March 2018



Coordinated by the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering of the University of Pisa in collaboration with ARPA Tuscany, BRRC-Belgian Road Research Centre, Ecopneus, IDASC-CNR the Institute of Acoustics and Sensoristics “Orso Mario Corbino” and Region Tuscany, the Project LIFE Nereide (Noise Efficiently REduced by RecycleD pavEments) was born with the main objective to contribute to the resolution of the environmental issues linked to the disturbance phenomena created by vehicle noise. This problem is particularly felt in urban areas and it is strictly dependent on the characteristics of the flooring surface. To this aim, the project wants to define some guidelines for the planning, construction and monitoring of two experimental sites, created using 12 bitumen conglomerate mixes for wear layers at low sound emissions. Such mixes will be produced at lower temperatures than the ones of the traditional hot conglomerates, using the so-called “warm” technologies. They will be composed of not only new aggregate and bitumen, but also of asphalt millings coming from the demolition of existing road flooring and from rubber powder derived from End-of-Life Tyres (ELTs).

The key eco-objectives the project Nereide wants to achieve are, thus:

• noise pollution mitigation;

• reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, thanks to the lowering of the processing temperatures and the reuse of waste materials, that would otherwise be destined to the landfill. 

For the drafting of the guidelines that will contain useful information for the identification of technologies, materials and typologies of intervention to adopt, without prejudice to the mechanical performance and the levels of surface grip of the new floorings, the project provides for the realisation of 12 road stretches. It will be one stretch of road per mix. Each stretch will be adjacent to the following one and approximately 400 m long. These mixes will be laid on two distinct experimental sites on the urban roads of Tuscany. The roads have been appropriately chosen among those identified as in need of acoustic improvement within the scope of the regional plans of noise reduction.

The laying of the new surfaces is planned in two moments, with a one-year gap in between, respectively: in autumn 2017 and 2018. 

In addition to the experimental stretches in bitumen conglomerate, the experimentation of a porous-elastic flooring, PERS (PoroElastic Road Surface), is planned first in Belgium and then in Italy in summer 2018. With this type of surface, it will be possible to reuse greater percentages of rubber from ELTs. After a year from the beginning of the project and planning to start road resurfacing with the mixes containing rubber powder by the end of autumn 2017, the following activities have been carried out.

The individuation of the experimental sites 

The urban road stretches subject of intervention have been chosen based on a priority index linked to the contemporary presence of several schools and of over 800 people exposed to daily noise levels higher than 65 dB(A). The first experimental site of about 2,400 metres has been identified on the “S.R.T. 439 Sarzanese-Valdera” in the town of Massarosa (LU). 

The project of the experimental mixes and the Life Cycle Assessment

The design of the mixes represents, without any doubt, the most important task of the project. An in-depth knowledge of the materials, of the volumetric composition and of the mechanical characteristics of the thickened mix is fundamental to be able to predict its behaviour once installed.

A revision of the existing technologies has been carried out. Its aim was the definition of the maximum quantities of recycled materials (rubber powder and asphalt millings) that may be used in the mixes. It was also necessary for the identification of additives or specific technologies used for the reduction of the temperature for the laying of the modified asphalts. After such revision activities, the design of the mixes planned for the first period of installation was developed in the laboratory. 

In detail, the mixes are:

Two “traditional” hot control mixes;

A draining mix 0-12;

a Splittmastix Asphalt (SMA) 0-12 mix;

four innovative “warm” mixes, containing rubber powder with uneven aggregate gradation, of which: two with open graded aggregate assortment and two “gap graded” types. For each aggregate size, the two methodologies for the introduction of rubber powder within the bitumen conglomerate will be used (“dry” and “wet” processes).

In order to identify and be able to quantify the material and energy consumption as well as the emissions released into the environment associated to the life cycle of the proposed experimental surfaces, a careful Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was also carried out. It compared all possible combinations of wear courses containing asphalt millings, rubber powder and produced with warm technology with a traditional hot asphalt mixture, taken as point of reference. 

The results obtained from the comparative LCA have shown that the combined effect of the mixes with warm technology and the use of recycled materials reduce noticeably the environmental costs associated to the processes of road surfacing and maintenance of the wear courses. It, thus, represents a valid alternative to traditional technologies. It also fully meets the “eco-environmental” requisites expected from this new technology. In particular, the use of these recycled materials allows, above all with reference to asphalt millings, noticeable savings of raw materials such as bitumen and aggregates. Moreover, the technology of Warm Mix Asphalts (WMA) allows the reduction of production and laying temperatures, thus reducing the environmental emissions during such operations.

The ante-operam monitoring campaign  

Alongside laboratory testing, some ante-operam monitoring campaigns have been carried out with reference to noise, structural and functional indicators on the stretch or road of the S.R.T. 439 “Sarzanese-Valdera” in the town of (LU), where the laying of the first six mixes is planned.

The aim is to be able to quantify the benefits obtained following a “before-after” approach.

Structural surveys and surface characteristics

The survey of the structural characteristics was carried out with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) equipped with a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for the constant detection of the existing surface thickness. Due to the construction inhomogeneity of the inspected surface, the usual procedures for the structural surface analyses are, in general, not very reliable.   Indeed, S.R.T. 439 “Sarzanese-Valdera” falls within those roads of ordinary viability based on ancient historical roads. These are characterised by the presence of an intermediate layer, placed on the subbase made with natural stones of variable thickness, and by thin bitumen conglomerate layers. The usual analysis procedures (using deflectometric surveys made with FWD) estimate the values of the elastic modules of the layers by the means of back analysis methods. Consequently, they estimate the critical parameters for the determination of the useful residual life of the surfaces by using the values of the modules calculated in this way. For this reason, it was decided to carry out an estimate of critical deformations using more stable methods, which are also less sensitive to thickness variations by the means of the analysis of the road structure parameters.

The evaluation of the surface characteristics was made with reference to macrotexture and grip. The texture was detected by the means of a mobile laser profilometer. Based on the obtained results, the macrotexture was calculated with reference to ETD. The grip measurements, carried out with a Skiddometer BV11, were expressed in terms of BPN, CAT and F60 (according to IFI’s model). Such indicators fall within the Life Performance Indicators (LPI). These represent the monitoring indexes of the impacts of the project. 

Noise survey and measurement protocols

The acoustic performances have been evaluated by ARPAT (the Environmental Protection Body of Region Tuscany) and by CNR-IDASC (Institute of Acoustics and Sensoristics “Orso Mario Corbino”)

with reference to tyre-road noise, with Close Proximity Index (CPX) and Standard Pass-By (SPB) methods. The sound absorption was measured with the Adrienne Method.

The noise levels of the psychoacoustic indicators, obtained thanks to the Close Proximity Index (CPX) method, have been calculated for every single stretch of road where the experimental mixes will be laid, bearing in mind the specific stretch of road (different traffic fluxes and speed), the orography and other specific elements, such as the presence of noisy activities. Alongside the standard phonometric surveys, a survey was carried out among the population in order to have a clear picture of the perceived level of noise. The phonometric results confirm a situation of real disturbance, with Lden levels higher than 65 dB(A) and Lnight levels higher than a 60 dB(A) for all road stretches. On the other hand, the values given by the CPX method, which measures the acoustic quality of the road surface, confirm the possibility of a clear improvement with the aid of appropriate sound-absorbing or low-emission floorings.

Alongside the monitoring, ARPAT and IDASC are developing measurement protocols in addition to the standard ones provided for by the Legislation that would allow a better estimate of the influence of each type of flooring on sound emissions.

In particular, ARPAT has prepared a protocol that can derive the SBP indicators as defined by the Rules and Regulations by the means of normal fixed control units of noise control and a simple traffic counter, but without the need of manned measurements. Such protocol provides for the use of SEL devices instead of the LAmax. This is in line with the Harmonoise Project, which, once validated, will make it possible to estimate the disturbance of every single vehicular category, thus facilitating mobility policies. IDASC is developing a system whose objective is the improvement of the measurement methods of noise absorption in situ, using pressure-speed waves mounted on board of a vehicle, instead of a microphone, for the measurement of the reflected wave - as provided for by the Adrienne Method. The new measurement protocol will be confronted with the regulated method (Adrienne) and will be validated on the new surfaces of the project.

Future activities

The post-operam noise and functional monitoring campaigns will then follow the realisation of the first six experimental stretches of road. During these monitoring activities new acoustic measurement protocols will be experimented.

At the same time, the ante-operam monitoring activities will be carried out on the stretches of the second location where the laying of the six remaining experimental mixes containing asphalt millings and rubber powder (as well as PERS-type wear) is planned.

Progress at May 2017

Summary of UNIVERSITA’ DI PISA – DICI activities

In this first phase of the project, the activities of the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at the University of Pisa consisted of a preliminary analysis and review of the state of the art of existing techniques for the detection of the highest amounts of recycled materials (recycled asphalt pavements and crumb rubber from End-of-Life tyres) and specific additives and technologies used to reduce the temperatures of set-up and realization. On the basis of this and on the results obtained from a preliminary study of the constituent materials, the design mix was conducted in laboratory to develop technical specifications for the new types of low noise emission mixtures containing recycled rubber (CRM) and produced with the "warm" technology, forecast in the first stretch campaign.

In order to assess the degree of environmental sustainability of the proposed experimental pavements, a thorough Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study was conducted on all possible combinations of wear layers containing recycled asphalt and recycled rubber, produced with warm technology; this LCA was compared with a gap layer wrapped at hot temperature, as a reference; this procedure of analysis made possible to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with each type of mixture in terms of material, energy consumption and emissions, providing results that fully satisfy the "green” objectives expected.

At the same time, on the stretched sections of the SRT 439 Sarzanese-Valdera in Massarosa (LU), where the first experimental realization was planned in the fall of 2017, were performed measurement of lift with a Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) equipment and carried out a continuous evaluation of pavement thickness with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment. 

The processing of the acquired data made possible to determine the criterions of the constituent layers of the package and therefore to assess the remaining useful life of the existing pavement and the increase in expected life as a result of the realizations of the new layers.


Summary of ARPAT activities

ARPAT activities focuses on monitoring implementation sites. Actually the ante-operam monitoring at first implementation site (Comune di Massarosa (LU)) is completed and analysis are ongoing. To permorm these actions, ARPAT contributed to the selection of candidates sites with Regione Toscana in order to identify suitable places for laying the new pavements. Sites of regional action plans have been filtered and visited according technical parameters and final decision has been taken by Regione Toscana.

Then a selection of acoustical methods and indicators have been carried out to define methodologies for ante and post operam monitoring campaigns. ARPAT has also contributed in methods for psychoacoustical measurements such that noise and psychoacoustical parameters have been acquired in agreed locations. 

CPX, method has been applied along the whole stretch of road that will be layed with the new pavements. Noise from continuous noise monitoring stations was acquired in 6 locations rapresentative of each stretch of new surfaces. 

In combination with standard by law noise levels (Italian and European) several additional noise indicators will be elaborated from continuous monitoring. 

ARPAT is also developping a new methodology in order to acquire SPB-like data in urban areas without manned measurements. Urban pass by methodology has been tested in two location to select indicators and to define measurement protocol. Data analysis is actually ongoing. Data has been also acquired according a preliminary protocol in 4 of 6 ante operam locations in order to test indicators. 

In the next 3 months, analysis of urban pass by will be finalized and method is going to be validated before the end of 2017. Ante-operam acoustic indicators will be reported in september

ARPAT has also acquired together with CNR population data from municipality in order to evaluate people living along the road stretches that will benefit from mitigation. Finally ARPAT has been involved in several dissemination activities. Two scientific papers have been published (ICSV and AIA conferences). Two events at fairs and two workshops have been attended to disseminate projects. Arpat newsletters reported news on nereide in November and March issues. 


Summary of ECOPNEUS activities

Ecopneus coordinate the design and implementation of communication materials to support project activities. The LIFE Nereide website will serve throughout the duration of the project as a constant point of reference for partners and potential stakeholders, as well as an up-to-date source of information about project objectives, initiatives and progress. The site contains all the key information about the project, planned actions, expected goals, partners and their roles.

Have been realized also a Papers Notice Board, which contain the main informations, both in english and in Italian, about the Nereide project: summary of objectives and results attended, Nereide Logo and Logos of the partners. The paper notice boards have been printed and sent to all the partners and placed in public places. Also, a roll-up has been created with a summary of the poster’s information: it will be used during conference, workshop and other public events, according to the foreseen dissemination activities.

Other communication tools are been planned and realized, to maximize the dissemination of informations to specific public: a tri-fold leaflet, a small folder for public events and 1-to-1 meeting, a PowerPoint standard presentation and a press release format. 

Thanks to dedicated press activities carried out by Ecopneus on a selection of journalist interested to the topic and to other dissemination activities carried out by the other partners, over 100 articles has been published, also on the major national newspaper.

During the Asphaltica Fair, the most important national event on asphalts and roads that was held the 22-25 February in the city of Verona, a demonstration workshop was organized by Ecopneus on the modified asphalt. According to the NEREIDE Project partners, one of the focus during the workshop was the NEREIDE project. Massimo Losa, Professor of the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering (DICI) at the University of Pisa (that is the Project coordinator) and Gaetano Licitra, member of ARPAT, the regional environmental protection agency of Tuscany region, have outlined the objectives and the expected results of the project to the participants at the workshop.

Over 70 people (including representatives of the Public Administration, decision makers, academics and companies of the sector) attended at the event. About 1,500 persons have been invited via e-mail and a selection of about 600 have been called by phone to point out the event. A NEREIDE panel was also strategically placed in an area of the Ecopneus’ stand at Asphaltica, that allows visitors to sit and read about the project objectives and activities forecasted.

A further opportunity for networking was held in July during a conference dedicated to the LIFE ReFibre project (which aims to obtain extremely durable pavements thanks to the use of recycled materials), during which a session was dedicated to the Nereide project.

Other actions will be implemented to support the advancements of project activities.