Plastic roads promise fewer potholes and roadworks

Plastic roads made from recycled materials promise to be smoother, greener and cause fewer delays according to construction firm VolkerWessels.

plastic roads

Motorists and cyclists alike will welcome an end to the thousands of potholes that can make asphalt roads so dangerous.

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 COemissions 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.”

roadworks

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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Comments

  1. edmund white

    Reply

    Apart from the fact that plastics are oil based, an the oil industry is the cause of a heck of a lot of pollution and damage to the world, it’s a limited resource. My worry as a cyclist would be in winter, with ice, frost an snow, would it not be even more slippery than tarmac, also when worn smooth, maybe I’m wrong, it would be interesting to see some results.

  2. Graham Fletcher

    Reply

    Edmund White seems to have missed the point that the roads would be made from recycled plastic, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. Fair point about the slipperiness but I am sure that could be addressed. It would be great if they could have the same colours as the roads on OS maps!

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