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Every year, kilometers of new bicycle paths are built in our country – and this fact is very positive as more and more municipalities become bike-friendly. It is important to carefully choose the technology for constructing bicycle path surfaces. A great solution is to use foam concrete for the base layer, which allows the work to be completed quickly, cheaply, and without complications, while also ensuring long-term, trouble-free use.

One of the many branches of construction where foam concrete excels is the construction of bicycle paths. What properties of this material make it suitable for building the surface structure of bicycle paths?

First and foremost, this solution allows for rapid execution due to its ease of application – it is possible to build up to one kilometer of a bicycle path in a day! The speed of project completion is influenced by both the simple application of foam concrete, which is produced and poured directly on site, and the elimination of the need to build curbs on a foundation or deep trenching. It is sufficient to trench to a depth of 15-20 cm, fill the trench with foam concrete, and cover it with the chosen closing layer. There is also no need to engage heavy equipment for earthworks.

All these factors significantly reduce the overall cost of the project. Importantly, using this material as a base allows the construction of bicycle path surfaces on various types of soils, including weak, waterlogged, and non-bearing soils.

Bicycle Path Surface – Foam Concrete in the Lead Role

Another important feature of foam concrete is that it is frost-resistant and thermally insulating, which solves the problem of ground freezing and, consequently, eliminates the risk of frost heave and cracking of the surface after winter. A bicycle path made with this material will also not be overgrown with weeds, which is often a cause of the gradual deterioration of newly constructed bicycle paths.

The entire process of building a bicycle path surface with foam concrete is carried out on-site and continuously. Foam concrete is produced in a special foaming aggregate and then delivered to the construction site using a pump. By adding a foaming agent to the mixture during foaming, air bubbles remain trapped in the mass after it solidifies.

As a foam concrete producer, in collaboration with the Poznań University of Technology, we have developed a catalog of typical bicycle path surfaces. This solution allows for easy selection of the technology, using foam concrete PB600 or PB800 for the base layer. The appropriate closing (wear) layer of the surface should then be selected. The choice between two proposed variants: E2 ≥ 50 MPa or E2 < 50 MPa depends on the value of the subgrade modulus E2 (according to PN-S-02205:1998).

Bicycle paths are rapidly increasing in Poland because more and more people are choosing to switch from four wheels to two, traveling more ecologically, healthily, and often faster, avoiding traffic jams. Using foam concrete for the construction of bicycle path surfaces leaves traditional technologies far behind – both in terms of the simplicity of the solution and the economic and practical aspects.