Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Field-test with different cobblestone paving and block paving (VSS2008/503)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Cobblestone and block paving are old construction methods that are even today important creative elements for urban construction operations. However, bearing capacity and deformation behaviour under heavy traffic loading as well as rehabilitation methods are hardly considered as research topics, so far.


In this project, behaviour of different cobblestone and block paving structures with borders will be compared. Practical experience shows that present traffic loads and cleaning methods may partly cause problems with cobblestone paving and block paving surface course.

The goals of these research works are:

  • Investigation during the four seasons of the behaviour under heavy traffic of different structures of cobblestones and block paving (materials, stone sizes and pavement thicknesses) with the corresponding dilatation joints and boarder elements
  • Comparison of the behaviour of the different test sections in the field of bearing capacity, deformations, and damages. Correlation between the results on test sections and real objects in practice
  • Study of the long term behaviour of different kinds of dilatation joints and boarder elements
  • What kind of structures are required in order to resist of traffic loads between T1 and T4
  • The results and conclusions of the research works will be a basis for the actualization of the corresponding Swiss standards.

This practice oriented project will allow preventing damage of comparatively expensive creative pavements in built environment. In this way, town planers and universities will obtain more accurate basic tools for planning of objects in built environment. This will create positive long-term maintenance effects with both historical and modern creative pavements that will be optimized for modern traffic loads and cleaning methods.


Field test in situ based on 12 test fields under controlled heavy volume of traffic and 5 additional sample fields for MLS 10  EMPA (higher and faster loading). Comparison between the experimental and sample fields as well as objects from the practice observed by the Office FPN for a long time.

Laboratory examination of the application materials have come to perform and compare the origin of materials to control material fatigue.

Further activity provided in the framework of the project is measuring the flatness, the pressure conditions under the bedding layer and the temperature profile in the individual layers of bonded construction.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Funding Source
587'000.00 CHF


The experiments planned are a logical continuation of the previously conducted experiments and to conclusively provide a sound basis for standards. This could be amended and supplemented on scientific evidence the existing standards. Thus, exact information about the materials to be used, assemblies, expansion joints and terminations with their bedding and joints materials could be made. It incur less damage to the expensive and important for the inner-city area design coverings.

If it is known which compressive strength requires a grout, and the experiment would show that "soft" grouts are suitable under certain conditions for heavy traffic load, in practice, it requires fewer expansion joints and also occur in the bonded construction less cracks due to temperature stresses that to can cause maintenance work or damage.

Paving slab ceilings and are essential for the conservation of value, design and embellishment of old towns, historic village centres, housing developments with residential streets, etc., as this feeling passers-by and local residents more comfortable. From the unbound construction one is partially strayed because of mechanical cleaning. The bonded structure has, especially often caused until today also because the expansion joints, problems. Paving slab ceilings and thus come into an unnecessary disrepute, although they are still very important and good design coverings for streets and squares where the traffic is rolling slowly.

For new design elements made of natural or concrete blocks tests with the Überrollungsanlage MLS could be 10 carried out under realistic systems and environmental conditions with minimal effort. This would get builders and planners a security for new possibilities in urban areas and a handle for quality control or decrease in critical cases.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!