Published: 2023-12-30

Road investments conducted on the principles of a circular economy and their impact on funding for road repairs and ongoing maintenance

Piotr Gryszpanowicz , Natalia Gasik-Kowalska , Małgorzata Kacprzak , Barbara Rymsza

Abstract

Investments conducted on the principles of Circular Economy aim to introduce sustainable practices and minimize the negative impact of road infrastructure on the environment. One of the main elements of road investments conducted on the principles of Circular Economy is the use of recycled materials. An increasingly common material in road construction is milled asphalt concrete and crushed old construction layers which, after appropriate processing, can be reused. The research focused on determining the impact of Circular Economy-based investments on the funding of road repairs and ongoing maintenance, using the example of Płock, a medium-sized Polish city. In 2011, the co-author of the paper proposed to the city authorities the implementation of regulations regarding the utilization of demolition materials obtained from road investments in urban street lanes, which was successfully implemented in mid-2011. The introduced regulations applied to surfaces such as asphalt, stone, concrete road plates, trachyte, and concrete blocks, as well as curbs, edges, and elements of the substructure. The demolition material recovery program yielded significant results in a short time, primarily in terms of environmental protection. Before 2011, all demolition materials were sent to municipal landfills, and currently, the quantities sent there equal zero. The research, based on data from the last 10 years, was compared with the expenditures incurred by the road management for ongoing maintenance and road repairs. The aim of the research was, consequently, to answer the question of whether a road economy based on recycling can contribute to reducing the costs of road maintenance and ongoing repairs.

Keywords:

circular economy, material recovery, road construction, recycled asphalt, climate mitigation

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Gryszpanowicz, P., Gasik-Kowalska, N., Kacprzak, M., & Rymsza, B. (2023). Road investments conducted on the principles of a circular economy and their impact on funding for road repairs and ongoing maintenance. Roads and Bridges - Drogi I Mosty, 22(4), 439–446. https://doi.org/10.7409/RABDIM.023.026

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