Opening of world's first modular PlasticRoad bike path in Zwolle, the Netherlands
The municipality of Zwolle opened a 30 meter long bike path constructed with prefab PlasticRoad elements partially made from recycled plastic. The elements are hollow and provide space for cable and pipes, including sewage pipes and rainwater drainage systems.
The first use of the PlasticRoad elements was officially marked on 11 September with its inventors Anne Koudstaal (right on top photo) and Simon Jorritsma (left) cycling over the bike path.A hollow PlasticRoad element to accommodate all kinds of cables and pipes and, in case of extreme heavy rain fall, it can be used for storm water retention.
Building roads made from plastic waste
The modular concept was presented three years ago by road construction company KWS-VolkerWessels. Wavin and Total joined forces with KWS in 2016 to develop the concept into a product.
Inventors Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma: ‘This first pilot is a big step towards a sustainable and future-proof road made of recycled plastic waste. When we invented the concept, we didn’t know how to build a PlasticRoad, now we know.’
The elements used for the pilot in Zwolle have been made with a significant amount of recycled plastic. The end goal is to use 100 percent recycled plastic.
The pilot location is equipped with sensors to monitor the road’s performance – including temperature, the number of bike passages and the durability of the construction. With these sensors, this PlasticRoad is the first smart bike path in the world.
The prefabricated production, the light weight and the modular design of the PlasticRoad make construction and maintenance faster, simpler and more efficient compared to traditional road structures.
The developers expect the construction to last three times longer than conventional paving.
In November, a second pilot bike path will be installed with additional features of the PlasticRoad.
With this second project, the results of both pilots will generate enough insights to apply and refine the PlasticRoad.
In the meantime, the PlasticRoad partners are looking for new locations to launch subsequent pilots – to test other applications of the PlasticRoad, such as parking lots, train platforms and sidewalks.
This news item is based on a press release of PlasticRoads.
(photos: KWS / PlasticRoad)
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Video explaning the modular PlasticRoad concept.