Canadians are used to driving on damaged, pothole-filled asphalt that always seems to be under construction during the summer. Now a construction company in the Netherlands hopes to improve the quality of roads and reduce waste by using recycled plastic for road construction.
VolkerWessels showed off plans late last week for roads that would be made entirely from plastic.
“Plastic offers many advantages compared to current road structures, both in the construction and the maintenance of it,” said Rolf Mars, Director of KWS Infra, in a statement. “PlasticRoad is also virtually maintenance free. It is resistant to corrosion and weathering.”
The surface would be able to handle temperatures between -40C to 80C and the company estimates the new material could triple the life span of a road.
The hollow structure of PlasticRoad allows for easy integration of connections for light poles and can be used for water retention, according to the statement.
Sections of the road can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to the site, which means the roads can be built faster and with shorter construction times.
The company added that the environmental case is twofold as asphalt is responsible for 1.6 metric tons of CO2 emissions a year.
Mars said the project is still at the conceptual stage, but the company hopes for a fully recycled highway within three years. According to The Guardian, Rotterdam has already showed an interest in testing the material.
“We’re very positive towards the developments around PlasticRoad,” said Jaap Peters, of the city council’s engineering bureau, to The Guardian. “Rotterdam is a city that is open to experiments and innovative adaptations in practice. We have a ‘street lab’ available where innovations like this can be tested.”
Mars hopes future development of the road will include heated surfaces.
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