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Although more and more bicycle paths are being built in Poland each year, the same mistakes are still being repeated. This was clearly demonstrated by the construction of a bicycle path near Leszno, running parallel to a county road. After the road was renovated, but before it was opened for use, the bicycle path began to subside. Foam concrete came to the rescue – if it had been used as the base layer from the start, the need for repairs and unnecessary additional costs could have been avoided.

The excellent properties of foam concrete are increasingly being recognized by investors in our country, although it took considerable time and effort for the material to pave its way into the Polish market. Numerous studies involving foam concrete confirm the validity of its use. Its widespread use in challenging and demanding projects (road and bridge construction, airport slabs) in other countries, such as the Netherlands, also leads to its increasing use in Poland. One of the applications where it performs excellently is in the construction of bicycle paths.

Our recent project near Leszno, where foam concrete literally saved the investment, shows that this material works much better than traditional technologies. Used as a base layer and covered with an appropriately chosen closing layer of mineral-asphalt mixture, it is an excellent solution even for difficult and problematic soils (weak, non-bearing, waterlogged).


Construction of Bicycle Paths on a Foam Concrete Base

The Leszno project clearly demonstrated that the use of foam concrete is fully justified and often the only good solution that guarantees effectiveness. The new bicycle path built along the renovated county road near Leszno began to subside and deteriorate before the entire investment was put into use.

It was necessary to relieve the load on the bicycle path while simultaneously reinforcing and stiffening it, and eliminating the problem of gradual washing away of the base by water. For this purpose, part of the base was removed and replaced with foam concrete with a density of 600 kg/m³ (PB600). This allowed the road to be relieved by about 300 tons, and the 30-centimeter layer of cellular concrete stabilized and reinforced it.

All work took only two days. Such a rapid completion time is possible thanks to the technology of applying foamed cellular concrete, which is produced on-site using a special foam concrete production machine and applied to the construction site with a special pump. This allows for great precision while protecting the foam structure, ensuring the closure of air pore surfaces and guaranteeing uniformity of the resulting mixture.

The construction of bicycle paths with a base (bearing layer) of foam concrete and a closing (wear) layer of mineral-asphalt mixture is a great solution for difficult soils, but not only. Foam concrete is also frost-resistant and thermal-insulating, preventing ground freezing and heaving. For this reason, it will work on any type of substrate, eliminating problems related to soil subsidence under the bicycle path, washing away of the base by water, or its degradation by frost.


A significant advantage of this technology is the simplicity of execution and the minimization of the risk of errors in craftsmanship. In practice, building bicycle paths with a base layer of foam concrete is limited to trenching 15-20 cm and covering it with an appropriately chosen closing layer. To further simplify this task, we have developed, in cooperation with the Poznań University of Technology, a catalog of road surfaces for bicycle paths on a foam concrete base PB600 or PB800. By using ready-made solutions from the catalog, the design procedure is reduced to simply selecting the appropriate wear layer.