Polymerised roads save Rs 60,000/km, say BIAL officials

(From left to right) The plastic-bitumen mixing plant located on the Kempegowda International Airport campus; workers empty plastic into the mixer; and the roads being laid out on Thursday. DH Photos/B K Janardhan

The Bangalore International Airport Limited’s (BIAL) idea to polymerise the roads inside the airport campus has cut costs and made them more durable.

Technical experts at the Kempegowda International Airport said the cost went down by Rs 60,000 for a kilometer, with 3.5 metres and 40 mm thickness paved with waste plastic and bitumen mixture.

“There are several benefits of polymerising the roads,” explained B V Kiran Kumar, associate professor, Government Sri Krishnarajendra Silver Jubilee Technological Institute.

“One is that the quantity of bitumen is reduced and substituted with waste plastic in the aggregate (mixture). This would reduce the construction cost. Plastic is an excellent binding material, offering flexibility to the roads.

“Polymerised roads can bear more load compared to the normal asphalted roads. They can withstand adverse weather. The damage (they sustain) due to moisture could be controlled. The plastic used on polymerised roads won’t get back to nature and will meet its end this way,” he added.

As per Indian Road Congress’ norms  

An access road in the airport was paved with waste plastic and bitumen mixture on Thursday.

BIAL officials said the process is in accordance with the Indian Road Congress’  guidelines. The aggregate and bitumen are heated side by side at 150 degrees Celsius and transferred to the mixing chamber.

Nearly 6 to 8% of the waste plastic is blended with the heated mix and topped up on the road. BIAL has partnered with ITC’s food division and the Big FM channel on a campaign to ask citizens to donate waste plastic to build 50 kilometres of roads in the airport campus.

The campaign will be held at three BIAL-adopted schools, five panchayats in the Devanahalli taluk, besides in private schools and apartments in north Bengaluru.

While students and teachers can send waste plastic to the airport, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has given 11 tonnes. BIAL is planning to complete the road building project by 2021.

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