Material could drastically cut construction times and utilize wasted plastic
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands—VolkerWessels, a Dutch group of companies with offices in several countries including Canada, has introduced the “PlasticRoad” and is looking to pilot the project to ensure its safe in wet, slippery conditions.
The company’s PlasticRoad would manufactured using 100 per cent recycled material, and is aligned with initiatives that are looking to free the world’s oceans of small pieces of plastic, or “plastic soup.”
“PlasticRoad 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,” the company said.
The plastic would be manufactured into prefabricated pieces that could be used to build – or install – a road in a shorter amount of time than current road construction takes. The company says the prefabricated design could significantly reduce road congestion by notching construction times down significantly. The PlasticRoad would also last up to three times as long as conventional materials.
“PlasticRoad is a virtually maintenance free product. It is unaffected by corrosion and the weather. The road structure handles temperatures as low as [minus] 40 degrees and as high as 80 degrees Celsius with ease,” the company noted.
The new product would also use a hollow structure, allowing specific additions to be added to the road prior to installation, such as cables, pipes, sensors or light pole connections.
Though just an idea on paper at the moment, VolkerWessels, which employs approximately 15,000 people worldwide, is currently looking to enter the pilot phase of the project to ensure the material is safe in wet, slippery conditions.