Out of all the paved streets in US, 94% have been created using asphalt. However, what if we told you that there is a better material that we should have and could have used instead of this one? Dutch firm VolkerWessels believes that plastic would have been a better choice as compared to asphalt when it comes to building roads. The firm claims that using plastic for this purpose would result in reducing time it takes for construction and maintenance while also increasing the lifespan.
According to the firm, using pure plastic would allow for some really amazing benefits. For instance, the roads will be able to better cope with temperature extremes while also being far more resilient to corrosion. The firm also claims that these roads will last three times longer than asphalt and shall minimize the need for maintenance.
Since sections could be prefabricated and installed on sand as a single process, the firm states that the construction time would be reduced from months into weeks. The material is also lighter and shall allow engineers to better tackle the issues such as water drainage and road stiffness while having a hollow space within can have myriad of uses; traffic loop sensors, running cables or pipes etc.
Apart from the obvious advantage of repurposing used plastic trash, this approach also implies that carbon-intensive asphalt production would no longer be required and environmentalists shall fully appreciate this. The firm also believes that using this material will also allow for testing out ideas of power generation and heating of roads for staving off snow and ice and shall give far better performance during tests as compared to asphalt roads.
VolkerWessels’ PlasticRoad is only a concept as of now, however Dutch city of Rotterdam shall be carrying out a trial to see how well the idea performs in real world.