NJ VIANEN, The Netherlands, July 17, 2015 (ENS) – KWS Infra, the biggest road builder in the Netherlands, is developing a plastic road that will utilize waste plastic like discarded water bottles.
“As far as we know, we are the first in the world,” said Rolf Mars, director of KWS Infra, although he could not give a date certain for when the first plastic road would be built.
“Plastic offers lots of advantages compared to current road structures, both in the construction and the maintenance of it,” he said, mentioning durability and the hollows in the structure that can be constructed to run cables or pipes through.
Recycled plastic and plastic are processed into prefabricated road sections, which are applied in their entirety.
The prefab production better guarantees qualities, such as roughness or drainage are engineered into the road sections, Mars says roads can be built much faster than with current materials and methods.
Mars said, “The plastic road is also virtually maintenance free. It is resistant to corrosion and weathering. So it can easily [adapt] to temperatures from -40 to +80 degrees Celsius and it is much more resistant to chemical attack. We estimate that the life span of roads can be tripled. ”
A major advantage of the plastic road is its hollow structure that is easy to install on a sandy surface or on poor soil.
Other elements such as traffic loops, equipment and connections for light poles are easy to integrate.
Even more important is that the hollow space in the road also can be used for water storage.
Mars said, “The potential of the concept is huge. At present we are looking for partners to carry out together with our pilot. In addition to manufacturers from the plastics and plastics industry, we are thinking of the recycling industry, universities and other research institutions.
The municipality of Rotterdam has asked for a plastic road to test.
“We are very positive about the developments surrounding Plastic Road,” said Jaap Peters of Rotterdam’s Engineering Division.
“Rotterdam is a city that is open to experiments and innovative practical applications,” Peters said. “Thus, we also have a test space, Lab Street, available, where an innovation if it can be tested. ”
The plastic road consists of 100 percent recycled material. It offers a place for in-road power generation technologies, and the company says it can enable ultra quiet roads, heated roads and modular road construction.