The first "Towards Modern and Safe Roads" informative two-day forum kicked off today at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) with a major participation of experts and specialists in the field of roads representing the public, private and academic sectors.
The delegate of Mayor of Amman, City Manager Engineer Ammar Gharaybeh in his opening speech stressed the importance of the road network that constitutes the important urban space to serve the city and its citizens, and is considered one of the most important services and basic infrastructure provided in the city.
He also underlined the significance and necessity of cooperation and coordination between the public and private sectors to ultimately supply a network of roads that suits the developments in the city of Amman.
Eng. Gharaybeh revealed that GAM is about to finish the road network for the Abdoun Corridor (Pathway), which is expected to be inaugurated early next year. This network, Gharaybeh said, was designed according to high engineering specifications to accommodate the urban development that will be witnessed in the city of Amman in the coming years as well as its importance in linking many areas of the capital with each other.
He added that GAM is always keen to improve the network of roads to a level that befits the city and its citizens by working according to annual plans that include the implementation of all infrastructure services for the city at the highest levels.
Eng. Gharaybeh said that the lengths of the paved roads in the city of Amman are estimated at four and a half million linear meters, equivalent to an area of about 45 million square meters which need extensive infrastructure services to maintain its durability, adding that GAM has always sought to provide a network of roads that needs double effort and high financial costs.
He pointed out that the lengths of the roads which GAM has opened and paved for the first time has reached up to about 2 million square meters, while the cost for the implementation of asphalt mixes ranges between JD 25 - 30 million annually.
Eng. Gharaybeh called on participants in the Forum to identify the problems faced by the road network to make recommendations, suggestions and ideas that can be applied on the ground and will be positively reflected on the status of the road network in the capital.
He also commended the efforts of the GAM staff in providing a modern and safe network of roads characterized by all elements of traffic safety.
From her part, the Forum's Coordinator Rula Khashman underscored in her speech the importance of the Forum and its role in promoting participation and communication between different sectors in the field of roads, in addition to tackling the issue of implementation of roads according to modern technological methods which contribute to saving time, effort and costs as well as specifications of materials used and modern alternatives to enhance quality and provide security and safety on the roads.
The opening session of the Forum included a concept paper submitted by Executive Director of Roads Eng. Ahmad Malkawi, who tackled the experience of GAM in the field of roads, businesses and plans implemented by GAM's Directorate of Roads in order to provide modern and safe roads with all elements of traffic safety.
Malkawi underlined methods initiated by GAM to accomplish its goal in the implementation of modern roads including the use of basalt gravels for the first time in the asphalt mixes for the advantages they have mostly their durability and high resistance to friction, which reduce the landslides and traffic accidents in addition to savings in the use of the asphalt material.
GAM has also used, Malkawi added, for the first time the electronic sensors method in paving the streets to improve the level of the streets for the convenience of road users, and the work to set up a special laboratory in GAM's mixer to examine samples on a daily basis, for the purposes of quality control, not to forget the usage of emulsified asphalt in roads which is an environment-friendly material that doesn't require heating and thus saves the usage of diesel fuel as well as its trouble-free in its usage by the workers, which increases productivity.
Malkawi said that the Road Directorate is seeking through its management, maintenance and durability of roads to provide a network of new and modern safe network of roads especially with the extension of the geographical area of the city and to convert it to a pedestrian friendly city through the creation and rehabilitation of sidewalks according to high engineering standards.
The first day of the Forum included two sessions during which three concept papers were submitted; the first by Dr. Majid Qasim from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing about road maintenance contracts in Jordan and the stages since 2001 through 2010. The second paper was presented by Major Engineer Emad Hiyari from the Directorate of Airports Engineering at the Royal Air Force and talked about the use of basalt gravels in asphalt mixes used in the Royal Air Force. And the third was submitted by Dr. Azzedine Katakhda and Dr. Ibrahim Assi from the Arab Center for Engineering Studies and dealt with "the advantages of using basalt in asphalt concrete."
Meanwhile, the second session included five concept papers; the first on "lab tests and the use of the burning method to find the proportion of asphalt in the asphalt mixes," presented by Bilal Khamayseh from Amman Municipality, the second was a joint paper between the University of Jordan, and US University of Wisconsin and tackled the "specifications of the materials used and modern alternatives to improve quality and standards".
The third paper was presented by the Axis Engineering Office and gave a briefing about the "road pavement in the Amman Municipality", while the Density of Engineering Office presented the fourth paper on "solutions for infrastructure projects, roads, provided by Autodesk," and the last one was submitted by the Center of Excellence for the Traffic Safety at the German Jordanian University and concentrated on "Assessment of bridges within the areas of the Greater Amman Municipality" and presented by Dr. Lina Shabib.