In collaboration with the University of Antwerp, the Road Research Centre and the Roads & Traffic Administration, BESIX Infra has been working for several years on a research project to better assess the impact of recycling asphalt in top layers.
BESIX Infra and its subsidiary Belasco collaborated to create the asphalt variants incorporating recycled materials for the many lab tests carried out during this study.
After the laboratory phase, it was time to test the variants in real conditions. In order to be able to do this, a pilot project was defined that started today on the regional road N123 Retie-Kasterlee, where the top layer has to be renewed.
BESIX Infra is laying three test layers there:
- 150m with classic asphalt without recycling
- 150m with a top layer with 20% recycling
- 150m with a top layer with 40% recycling but with the addition of a so-called rejuvenation oil to the bitumen (the rejuvenator regenerates the older binder of the asphalt granulate and thus allows to increase the percentage of recycling asphalt in the top layers).
Johan Vanhollebeke, general manager of Belasco: "Today, 20 May 2019, we started with the construction of the test layers over a distance of 3 x 150m in the Kasteelstraat in Retie. This is part of an investigation into new types of asphalt in which recycled materials are used, in order to reduce the ecological footprint. We look forward to studying and comparing the behaviour of these top layers in the coming months together with our partners of this research project. We will study elements such as roughness, rutting, fraying, cracking, wear and tear, etc. This is how we aim to make road construction more sustainable."