The roads made of asphalt cover the most of the road network globally, as far as this is the only and perhaps the safest method of road construction until now. This fact is about to change by the Dutch company VolkerWessels, which has focused on and wants to implement a new innovation; roads made of recycled plastic, reducing the time and simplifying the way of construction as we know so far.
VolkerWessels is a Dutch group of companies with 15,000 employees in more than 100 operating companies and offices around the world. The company will experimentally launch the construction of roads of plastic from the city of Rotterdam. It aims to construct plastic roads that it will be easy to assemble and disassemble. The construction will be such that in the middle there will be gaps for easy installation of pipes and wiring.
Advantages offered by this innovation
The company has a number of advantages for this way of construction. First, the road will withstand extreme temperatures, from very low (-40 ° C / -40 ° F) to very high (80 ° C / 176 ° F). In addition, the roads will be more resistant to corrosion and the need for maintenance will be minimized, in contrast to the countless road works and the annoying detours of today.
The parts of the road will be prefabricated, having as an advantage the reduction of the time of the road construction by placing single pieces. The material that will be used will be lighter and it will allow to better control factors such as road stiffness and direct drainage. This mode of construction enables laying pipes and cables at the interior of the road very easily.
In spite of the obvious environmental advantages offered by this construction, the emissions of carbon dioxide because of the production of asphalt will be reduced. The company also claims that they are working on new ideas, such as to produce electric energy by the road and thus to heat the roads in extreme low temperatures so as to melt ice or snow.
The clever Project and the bet of the company to implement it
Currently this whole project is just an idea, but the Dutch company VolkerWessels and the city of Rotterdam are prepared to go ahead dynamically to implement this idea, having completed within three years the construction and installation of some parts of the road or the major part of the roads of the city.
The company at this time is searching for partners who will help in building prototypes until the final implementation, in order to see by ourselves those clever roads in the near future and in real life.