A new section of the E34
If you’re on the E34, then you’re rolling down a piece of highway constructed by Aannemingsbedrijf Aertssen between the exits for Zoersel and Lille. It was a project that involved quite a lot of ‘People, Power & Passion’.
The reconstruction of the E34 between the Zoersel and Lille exits was performed in two phases. First, the lanes of traffic towards Antwerp were tackled, and then the highway towards Turnhout was renovated. Both sections – each 6.7 km long – recieved a complete makeover in only four months.
Demolition and processing
Both sides of the highway were in turn cleared of traffic, after which their top layer of concrete was pounded fine by machines. Two 60-ton crawler cranes broke everything up and the material was driven away by a fleet of articulated dump trucks to a recycling area in Vorselaar. The lower foundation and the thin layer of asphalt broken up by two 45-ton cranes were also deposited for recycling. All of that material was crushed, then taken back to the processing teams on the highway.
New foundation and asphalt layers
At a certain point, the highway itself was down to the base sand layer. This layer was levelled, compacted and tested. The old sub-foundation - which by then had been broken down to a 0/40 rock grade - was then placed on top of this, along with a foundation layer. This was mixed by the concrete that had also been broken down to a 0/40 grade and remixed with cement. Both layers were then spread out and compacted by the bulldozers, rollers and graders so that the main contractor could continue. They were then able to pour the triple asphalt layer that we all drive over so smoothly today.
In summary: the E34 project was a great example of ‘People, Power & Passion’. This is thanks to the remarkable effort of all Aertssen employees! Thanks to everyone!