Rotterdam set to trial plastic road


The city council of Rotterdam has revealed it is considering piloting a new type of road surface made entirely from recycled plastic.

Construction firm VolkerWessels has unveiled plans to develop the surfacing material, which it claimed, required less maintenance than asphalt and even withstand greater extremes of temperature– between -40C and 80C.

More importantly for British highways engineers perhaps the surface could last about three times as long and require less maintenance the firm claimed. The PlasticRoad project was still at the conceptual stage the firm said but he hoped the first fully recycled highway could be laid within three years.

Artist's impression of the plastic road

Rolf Mars, the director of VolkerWessels’ roads subdivision, KWS Infra, told the Guardian: ‘Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to current road construction, both in laying the roads and maintenance.’

Jaap Peters, from Rotterdam’s engineering bureau, said: “We’re very positive towards the developments around PlasticRoad. Rotterdam is a city that is open to experiments and innovative adaptations in practice. We have a ‘street lab’ available where innovations like this can be tested.’

The plastic roads are hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines under the surface, and can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed.

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