From Rubbish to Rad Roads

What does a city do with a whole pile of recycled materials like glass, rubber tyres and plastic car bumpers? If it is smart, it transforms them into roads. This reduces the amount of new materials required for road construction. And Gold Coast City just jumped on the recycled road bandwagon.

Road Trials

In a new Gold Coast City trial, a 410 metre section of KP McGrath Drive in Elanora is being made using recycled stuff in its construction. A total of 3.5 tonnes of recycled plastic, 200 tonnes of crushed glass and 300 tonnes of recycled asphalt pavement are now going to be part of the road.

Southbound lane finished pavement

Combining the plastic and glass in this project has reduced the total volume of new materials (sand and asphalt) by 25 per cent. Said acting Mayor Donna Gates, “In partnership with Fulton Hogan, we’re trialling this site which uses recycled glass in the lower layer and recycled plastic car bumpers in the upper layer. Glass not suitable for reuse in new glass products is usually sent to landfill as waste. The glass in this reconstructed road is now being put to use for a second time.”

Acting Mayor with glass road base

Other trial sites across the city have used crumbed rubber (recycled tyres) asphalt technology. This helps to reduce the bitumen content of asphalt by 20 per cent.

Crumbed Rubber Roads

Fulton Hogan’s Pavement Engineering Manager, Dr Laszlo Petho said, “27.5 tonnes of crumbed rubber from used tyres has been used, saving landfill sites from the dumping of the equivalent of around 4600 passenger car tyres. An additional bonus is that the rubber and carbon black from the tyres enhances the engineering properties of the asphalt.”

Beautiful Gold Coast roads

The crumbed rubber road sites include Nielsen’s Rd, Carrara, Pimpama Jacobs Well Road, Pimpama and Nineteenth Ave at Palm Beach.

Let’s face it we are going to have the sexiest roads in the country.


Roads not your thing? Perhaps you should hit the high seas!

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