1, Instytutowa str.
03-302 Warsaw
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Historical outline of the Road and Bridge Research Institute PDF Print E-mail

The Road and Bridge Research Institute in Warsaw was founded in 1955 as the Institute of Road Building. In 1959 the name was changed into the Centre of Research and Development of Road Technology and in 1974 the Institute received its present name. At the beginning the Institute was referring to the pre-war traditions of the Road Research Institute that was active at the Warsaw University of Technology between 1929-1939. The scientific-research works were carried out under direction of Professor Melchior Nestorowicz (1888-1939), an outstanding specialist in the field of road building and organiser of the road administration during the inter-war period.

The Institute of Road Building was called into being thanks to Aleksander Gajkowicz, MSc. Eng. (1897-1971), and director of the Department of Traffic in the Ministry of Transport. After the war Mr Gajkowicz managed to assemble around himself the group of the best Polish pre-war specialists, to create strong road administration that could be an example for other countries. With his name construction of 25000 km of new  roads is connected as well as the modernisation of 32000 km of existing roads in the years 1945-65.

One can also tell about Institute’s contributions to the improvement of rural roads in the field of construction of asphalt pavements as well as to research on new materials, treatment of waste materials and modernisation of the road equipment. Thanks to theInstitute’s activity new developments and technologies of road and bridge construction were created.

At the beginning of the seventies new problems arose. This was connected with preparation for motorways construction, introduction of the containerisation, building of large engineering structures as well as adaptation of existing roads to carry bigger loads. The Institute supported the major transport projects in the country. An example can be construction of Łazienkowska Route  in Warsaw, Central Railway Trunk-line, modernisation of the railway lines in Silesia, construction of the Gliwice-Kraków motorway and the main road from Warsaw to Katowice.

Greater and greater role was played by the implementation activity. The Institute carried out tests of roads, bridges, foundations, machines for road works, specified construction technologies, performed scientific supervisions, gave professional advice, elaborated experts’ reports showing directions of the design as well as methods of construction and reconstruction of transport structures. Together with the design offices and contractors, the Institute introduced into practice new designs, technologies, equipment as well as new principles for design and testing.

In 1990 the Institute started systematic modernisation of laboratories by equipping them with modern and unique apparatus. New branch of the Institute, modern Research Centre of Bridges Concrete and Aggregates in Żmigród near Wrocław was established.

The Institute pays special attention to the problems of engineering practice what can be proven by a rising number of patents and implementations of the newest technologies, particularly regarding new kinds of asphalt-concrete pavements, bridge constructionand reconditioning, geotechnics, foundation engineering, introducing modern methods of quality tests of materials and work, application of modern apparatus for measurement of technical and exploitation properties of pavements, etc.

Growing traffic has caused new research problems and resulted in the necessity of application of new materials, constructions, technologies and maintenance systems similar to the Western ones.

In the last period many research works have been carried out the majority of which have found practical application. The results of many of these works have been achieved in co-operation with domestic scientific centres: institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, technical universities and other research institutes.
The Institute, co-ordinating standardisation activity of road engineering, drafted the majority of standards regarding roads and bridges as well as a coherent system of bridge standardisation that comprises loads, principles of design and execution as well as structure tests. The Institute has been granted the accreditation of the Polish Centre for Testing and Certification as a certifying unit i.e. confirming the quality of products applied in roads and bridges.

Co-operation with the state and road administration like previously: the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Economy, currently: the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the General Directorate of Public Roads is particularly important for the Institute. This multilateral co-operation brings significant benefits for the road engineering.

The Institute is open to international contacts. In 1994 as first among the institutes from post-communist countries it was associated with road research centres of 18 EEC and EFTA countries affiliated in the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories. Moreover, the Institute employees take active part in the work of such organisations as PIARC, IABSE, RILEM, FGSV, AAPT, ERRI, and OECD.