A builder in the Netherlands has developed a road structure made of 100 percent recycled plastic that it says has “huge potential” for road construction, as well as providing a solution for plastics waste.
KWS Infra, a division of construction firm VolkerWessels, has created ‘Plastic Road’, where recycled plastics are processed into prefabricated road sections as a faster, more reliable and greener alternative to asphalt.
The company says the road structure is more resistant to weather and abrasion, last three times longer than normal road surfaces and requires less maintenance. It is also much lighter weight and easier to transport and lay.
"Plastic offers lots of advantages compared to current road structures, both in the construction and the maintenance of it," commented Rolf Mars, Director of KWS Infra. "The potential of the concept is huge,” he added.
Mars pointed out that a major advantage of Plastic Road is the hollow structure, which allows for the easy integration of traffic loops, equipment and connections for light poles. Even more important, he added, is that the hollow space in the road also can be used for water storage, or as a chute for cables and pipes.
"Plastic Road is virtually maintenance free. It is resistant to corrosion and weathering, so it can easily adjust to temperatures from -40 to +80 degrees Celsius and it is much more resistant to chemical attack. We estimate that the life span of roads can be tripled,” he added.
Currently the project is still in the conceptual stage, with KWS Infra looking for partners to carry out pilots of the technology. The city of Rotterdam has already pledged its interest in running a trial.
"We are very positive about the developments surrounding Plastic Road", says Jaap Peters, frm Rotterdam’s City Engineering Department. "Rotterdam is a city that is open to experiments and innovative practical applications."