VolkerWessels has announced its first project to build bicycle paths out of recycled plastic, a technique that the Dutch contractor says is lighter than a conventional asphalt path, takes a fraction of the time to build, is virtually maintenance free and lasts three times longer.
The PlasticRoad projects are to be built in the town of Zwolle, followed by another in the province of Overijssel. They will be 30m stretches, built using prefabricated sections that include drainage pipes, and can also be fitted with cable runs for sensors, measuring equipment and electricity.
The PlasticRoad concept was launched in 2015 by Royal VolkerWessels. The following year its KWS subsidiary signed an agreement with UK plastics maker Wavin and French energy company Total to develop the concept.
The concept was invented by Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, who developed it as their own side-project.
In a press statement the pair said: "After long designing, testing and further development, we are extremely proud that our PlasticRoad is really coming. Together with the province of Overijssel and the municipality of Zwolle, as PlasticRoad partners we are taking the step towards a more sustainable world with this first PlasticRoad cycle path."
The exact locations of the roads is still under discussion. The pilots are intended to establish the best mix of plastics and the optimal size of the hollow cores.
Image: VolkerWessel’s image of the path’s design