Stadshavens area in Rotterdam enhanced with unique ’circular’ asphalt bicycle path

Rotterdam is the first city in the Netherlands where 100% recycled asphalt will be applied in sub, base and top layer of a bicycle road. Never before has 100% recycled asphalt been applied on all three layers of pavement in the Netherlands. The recycled asphalt offers many economic and environmental benefits. Using a new production method and a bio-based rejuvenator, the properties are entirely similar to normal asphalt. Alderman Pex Langeberg explains the value: “This is a strong example of the Circular Economy in action. Now old asphalt can be re-used in a large number of roads in both the city and the port of Rotterdam.”

Second life for asphalt

The implementation of this project using 100% recycled asphalt is underway, thanks to a unique collaboration between the Port of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Municipality, KWS Infra and Arizona Chemical. By using a biobased rejuvenator produced by Arizona Chemical, the full properties of recovered asphalt can be restored. The raw material for this product is obtained from by-products of pine trees which are being used by the paper industry, via a process called biorefining. The recycled asphalt is from a local source, so it happens that asphalt from Rotterdam Zuid is getting a second life in Rotterdam Noord!

KWS (a VolkerWessels company) has a great deal of experience with developing sustainable and smart solutions for road applications. The company, which recently received international attention for development of the PlasticRoad concept, carefully monitors the quality of its innovations. The first test results for the recycled asphalt were very positive.

Lab op Straat

The bicycle lane is part of the Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H) area of Stadshavens Rotterdam. This area provides the setting for innovations such as the so-called Lab op Straat, which was initiated at the end of 2014. Here, business, government, and academic and research institutes are working together to enhance the sustainability of our World Port. The group tested innovations including street furniture such as a luminous sofa, talking trash, new types of pavement and durable road foundations. Lab Street every year expands on its innovations. The products are monitored by the University of Rotterdam and if innovations here work well, they can be applied elsewhere in Rotterdam.

Stadshavens Rotterdam

Business, the Port of Rotterdam and the Rotterdam municipality explore exceptional, innovative living and working conditions in Rotterdam Stadshavens with the aim of further strengthening the economic structure of the city and port. Due to the shift of the industrial port to the west, space has been created in Rotterdam and RDM Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H) for a fast-growing innovation ecosystem for the manufacturing industry. We call this the Rotterdam Innovation District. The Innovation District provides mental and physical space to entrepreneurs and investors so that they can contribute to the flourishing of the new economy here. Rotterdam considers it, makes it, delivers it. Rotterdam, Make it Happen.