Cool Machines: Plastic Roads

According to a company in the Netherlands, plastic might be the next best asphalt substitute.

Dutch construction company, VolkerWessels, appear to have come up with an alternative to ashphault. Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, colleagues at the company have revealed their plans to build roads made out of plastic.

Recently announcing their concept for the Plastic Road project in July, it consists of material that is 100% recycled and is a greener option to current road structures. The road is built off-site, transported then installed on a layer of sand on-site. Made from the plastic waste, it lasts for fifty years and afterwards can be broken down to create other plastic roads.

As it is pre-fabricated, roads could be built in weeks. Plastic Roads are unaffected by weather and can handle temperatures anywhere between negative forty and over eighty degrees Celsius. Other  elements can be integrated into the prefabrication  phases, including connections for light poles, traffic  loop sensors and measuring equipment. Plastic Roads  are also expected to last three times longer than asphault road structures.

 There are several advantages when it comes to the development of Plastic Roads; these include:

  •  a faster construction time with less upkeep and maintenance;
  •  a longer lifespan of the roads as well as a higher quality in the materials;
  •   space inside the hollow section of the road which could be used to store water, cables and pipes and;
  •  contributing to fixing the world problem of plastic waste.

Currently in the interest stage, it will be a couple more years before we see an actual prototype of one of these roads. Further research is expected to occur by KWS Infra on certain factors such as noise pollution and skid resistant options. With roughly fifty-five percent of plastic waste currently being incinerated, Plastic Roads are an interesting choice compared to our current roads. The city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands have already offered a testing site for the first Plastic Road.

What do you think?

 Source: VolkerWessells
Image Sources: VolkerWessells

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