Plastic roads made from recycled materials promise to be smoother, greener and cause fewer delays according to construction firm VolkerWessels.
The recycled plastic roads require less maintenance than asphalt because they can withstand temperatures ranging between-40C and 80C. Conventional asphalt roads are prone to cracking and potholes in winter when water penetrates the surface before freezing.
VolkerWessels claims asphalt is responsible for 1.6m tons of CO2 emissions a year globally – 2% of all road transport emissions.
Plastic roads promise to reduce delays
One of motorists’ biggest bug bears is the delays caused by road works, but speaking on behalf of VolkerWessels, Rolf Mars, said: “Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to current road construction, both in laying the roads and maintenance.”
“The plastic roads are lighter, reducing the load on the ground, and hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface.”
The plastic roads are quicker to lay than conventional methods because sections are prefabricated and light enough to be easily transported by lorry. Low maintenance will means less congestion caused by roadworks.
The project is still at a conceptual stage, but Rotterdam is considering piloting the new road surface. Future development of the plastic road idea is likely to include heated, ultra-quiet and illuminated surfaces.
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