Designing a Future of Plastic Roads – Next City

Designing a Future of Plastic Roads

(Credit: VolkerWessels)

No more potholes? No more worrying about woefully underfunded crumbling highways? That’s the future European construction company VolkerWessels sees in its plans for recycled plastic roads.

VolkerWessels’ concept, aptly named PlasticRoad, is a lightweight streets material made entirely of recycled material. The firm stresses the design would take a fraction of the time to construct and last about three times longer than typical road asphalt. Maintenance, too, would come cheap (or even free) because of the plastic’s increased durability.

Engadget reported the designs would also survive greater temperature ranges and can be pre-assembled for faster implementation. Hollow space in the plastic design can also offer ample room for cabling, pipes and rainwater.

The company’s goal is to have an operating plastic route within three years. The Dutch city of Rotterdam, Engadget reports, is interested in doing some test runs in a lab.

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

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