Paper by DIEPENDAELE RENS from ISCR 10th 2006 Brussels Belgium
The project concerns the design and supervision of construction for the realisation of a new combined tramway and bus lane linking the main railway station of Gent (Belgium) with the exhibition halls at Flanders Expo. Fundamental criteria for the design included the durability of the pavement, a pleasing appearance compatible with the renewal of the public space and vibration and noise abatement measures in the pavement structure. Furthermore the project consisted of three distinct zones of public spaces through which the new tram and bus had to be realized. These considerations led to an ambitious design for a tramway carriageway consisting of continuously reinforced concrete having a three layered structure supported on a noise and vibration abatement mat. The first layer, made of continuously reinforced concrete, forms the supporting slab for the tram rails, which is necessary as no ballast is used. The second layer is likewise reinforced and is anchored to the first layer by means of stirrups. The finishing of the wearing course on top of the second layer differed from zone to zone. In the most densely built-up urban zone the wearing course consisted of a fine-grained exposed aggregate surface speckled black and white, which harmonizes with the similarly coloured paving stones of the footpaths alongside the tramway. The project involved also the necessity to provide end anchorages at the bridge across the waterway Ringvaart and at relatively sharp curvatures of the alignment. This daring and ambitious project has proved to be very successful. It unites several different engineering techniques and disciplines on a single site, resulting in a unique pavement structure.