Today, Director-General Michèle Blom of Rijkswaterstaat and Cees de Wijs, member of the Board of VolkerWessels and responsible for the Infrastructure Netherlands Division, officially opened the Innovation Lane A58 Kloosters near Oirschot. The new Innovation Lane is a unique test location for sustainable road construction and is a project of Rijkswaterstaat and VolkerWessels companies Gebr. Van Kessel and KWS.
Innovation in road construction
With the Innovation Lane, both parties are betting heavily on sustainable innovations in road construction. The goal is to work in a CO₂-neutral and circular way by 2030. Research in this area is currently taking place at various locations in the Netherlands. On the new Innovation Strip of no less than 1400 meters in length, tests and experiments take place in practice. This is more practical and more efficient. The test lane, part of the InnovA58 project, will remain accessible to regular traffic. Experiences gained will contribute to the development and application of innovations in road projects.
Start of test and innovation phase
With the realization of the Innovation Strip, the testing and innovation phase now begins. On and around the strip various innovations are involved. For example, new types of foundation (under the asphalt) using more natural materials and a foundation that can also function as a water storage facility. And various types of asphalt with at least 60% reuse of bitumen. But tests are also being conducted in the field of road markings: road markings made from recycled thermoplastic and sustainable, natural materials. We are also experimenting with bio-based road furniture; these are reflector planks, traffic signs, hectometer poles and light posts made from mown roadside grass and recycled plastic. There will also be an arrangement of a noise barrier, constructed from different materials. The number and type of innovations for road construction will increase in the coming years on and near the Innovation Lane. Cooperation with market parties is the starting point.
The Innovation Lane was constructed on a zero-emission basis. The contractors took up the challenge of not emitting any CO₂ during construction. This was done, among other things, by using sustainable working methods, electric equipment and equipment on clean fuels (tank-to-wheel principle). Gebr. Van Kessel and KWS also apply themselves, together with various chain partners, a large package of circular products and own innovations.