Dutch construction company VolkerWessels has designed a new concept called PlasticRoad which aims to build roads entirely from recycled plastic that has been salvaged from oceans and incineration plants.
From author: PlasticRoad’s concept features numerous advantages compared to conventional roads, both in terms of construction and maintenance. Plastic is much more sustainable and opens the door for a number of new innovations such as power generation, quiet road surfaces, heated roads and modular construction. Additionally, the PlasticRoad design features a ‘hollow’ space that can be used for cables, pipes and rainwater.
PlasticRoad’s concept is in line with developments such as Cradle to Cradle and The Ocean Cleanup: the initiative to free the seas of ‘plastic soup’. Recycled plastic is made into prefabricated road parts that can be installed in one piece. The prefabricated production and the lightweight design also make the construction of a PlasticRoad into a much simpler task. Roads can be built in weeks instead of months. It is also much easier to control the quality of the road (stiffness, water drainage etc.).
PlasticRoad is a virtually maintenance free product. It is unaffected by corrosion and the weather. The road structure handles temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 80 degrees Celsius with ease. It is also much more resistant to chemical corrosion. Estimations predict that the lifespan of roads will be tripled. That means less road maintenance and less to no traffic jams and detours.
A major advantage of PlasticRoad is the hollow structure that can simply be installed on a surface of sand. In addition to the options mentioned above, it is also possible to integrate other elements in the prefabrication phase. These elements include traffic loops sensors, measuring equipment, and connections for light poles.
PlasticRoad is a lightweight design, 100% recycled material, a fraction of the construction time, virtually maintenance free, and three times the expected lifespan. PlasticRoad, which consists of 100% recycled material, is the ideal sustainable alternative to conventional road structures.