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Company, City of Rotterdam to Test Prefabricated Plastic Roads

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Ah, summer—a time of sunshine and sitting in traffic while crews work furiously to fix potholes and damaged roads before winter comes and tears them up again.

Well, Dutch company VolkerWessels is working to change that. VolkerWessels is a construction company that has come up with prototype prefabricated plastic roads that, ideally, could be installed quickly onsite like giant Lego pieces. They will be testing these roads in the city of Rotterdam in southern Holland.

The idea is to collect plastic waste from the oceans and melt it down into a tough material that can be poured into molds. On top of that, the plastic roads would reduce pollution normally put out by traditional asphalt and make roadbuilding easier in areas where traditional asphalt would be difficult, such as areas in the Netherlands, where cities sit on swampy or sandy land.

The pieces are intended to be hollow as well, allowing infrastructure normally buried in the asphalt to be run through a single, more accessible chamber.

If the program succeeds, then it would be a large step forward, creating a road that is not only sturdy, but also that can be easily removed and installed.