As we forge ahead into the 21st century, it is no secret that sustainable infrastructure is not just a novelty, but a necessity in order to thrive in today’s economy. Technology is rapidly advancing in the green energy and transportation sectors, but there is still so much more to be done. While advanced electric cars and increasingly efficient engines are exciting, have you ever stopped to consider the foundational materials that lay the groundwork for the very roads that these vehicles travel on?
The roads under our cars and trucks can have just as large of an environmental impact, if not more, than carbon emissions from our engines. For each mile of traditionally constructed roads, thousands of tons of materials are needed, and much of this heavy material needs to be transported long distances. This is not to mention the amount of diesel fuel needed to power all construction equipment. Aggregate rock is the most mined resource in the world and it is almost completely non-renewable. This material is used in almost every new road constructed, and one mile of a two-lane asphalt road can use up to 25,000 tons of aggregate rock. The complete road construction process for a single lane mile of highway can emit up to 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide.
Making our roads green matters, and it matters a lot. We may not realize it, but under the smooth, clean strip of asphalt we drive on – and the layers of rock and soil further down – lies an economic and environmental disaster that has been kept quiet for too long.
We need to revolutionize our transportation system and improve road infrastructure in a less damaging way. Companies such as TerraFusion International are leaders of the green road movement. They have accepted this challenge, and have been at the forefront of innovation regarding solutions to today’s road infrastructure problems. TerraFusion has introduced a groundbreaking biomass-based soil stabilization product that increases the strength, density and durability of roads, road bases and construction site foundations.
The EcoRoads formula hardens the local soil into a sustainable road sub-base to substantially reduce aggregate base rock required.This reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces maintenance costs by up to 50%, and increases the load carrying capacity of the road. These improvements increase a road’s lifespan, cut down economic costs, and streamline traffic flows. Additionally, there is no special equipment or training required to apply the EcoRoads formula. The formula is environmentally safe and has earned a biobased product certification. Currently EcoRoads is being used in over 28 countries globally and has proven to be effective in a multitude of different climates.
In the United States there is a tremendous opportunity to revolutionize our transportation infrastructure and create greener roads. The largest hurdle facing the green road revolution in the US is the construction industry’s status quo. Long standing relationships and both federal and state construction contracts create a difficult sector to break into. However, as the US turns to greener technologies, green roads are gaining traction.
As the world turns its attention to addressing long overdue ecological and economic challenges, we have an unprecedented opportunity. Driving cleaner cars and commercial vehicles on dirty roads solves only a part of the problem – get ready for green roads.
Written by: Mackenzie Paskerian