“The Covid-19 pandemic has not blocked the resumption of road works (started 2 years ago) in our country. At the end of 2020, the consumption of asphalt exceeded 32 million tons, the highest figure reached in the last 10 years and further growth is estimated in the first quarter of the year “, says the Association Siteb – Italian Roads and Bitumen: “Positive signs for the safety of our road network which show a clear inversion of the trend compared to the last decade, in which the lack of investments in this sector reached 10 billion euros. The use of funds linked to the PNRR constitutes a unique opportunity to support an extraordinary green maintenance plan for the national road heritage “.
According to the Association’s data, in 2020 the production of bituminous conglomerate, the main indicator of road maintenance activities in our country, was 32 million tons (in 2019 it had stopped at 30 million tons), a new absolute record for last decade. The increase was mainly supported by ANAS tenders and by the significant maintenance activities of the motorway concessionaires. A positive trend that is also continuing in 2021, with a first quarter that saw a new increase in bitumen production compared to the same period last year. The increase appears all the more sustained when compared with the three-year period 2015-2016-2017 in which the production of conglomerate had set a negative record with 23 million tons. Furthermore, the country has now returned to producing bitumen and exporting it significantly: in Italy exports are worth 78% of the domestic market.
“This is certainly a positive sign for the safety of our road network which has been forgotten for too many years and for which we have often paid a high social cost”, underlines the Siteb President – Michele Turrini: “Putting our road heritage back on track means, beyond to ensure that disasters such as those experienced in the recent past do not recur, also to relaunch the competitiveness of our companies and reduce the gap between the different areas of the country. The PNRR funds that will arrive from Europe constitute a unique opportunity to repair the 10 billion euro of non-investments that have seriously compromised our road assets, causing their gradual deterioration; in some cases the deterioration has entered the deep layers of the pavements and very expensive structural reconstruction interventions are now required. Today we estimate that 22 billion euros of investments are needed to make the entire road network safe and in step with the times “.