Drivers in Madrid are going to be provided protection on some of the roads by the world’s first sustainable crash barriers.

Madrid Motorway in Pioneering Crash Barrier Test 295

As part of the “New Jersey Project”, a 400 metre stretch of the M-111 motorway will be fitted with the new barriers, the first of their kind in Spain, and the first complete project in the world.

Made with a combination of recycled rubber tyres and plastic, the barriers use waste materials in their manufacturing, thus avoiding the process of creating new materials, and putting to use waste that may otherwise be stored in landfill sites, unable to naturally degrade.

Already, studies have shown that the manufacturing process reaches a level of “lower than expected” contamination, as their impact on emissions of carbon dioxide is 11.5% lower than traditional models.

In addition to their environmental credits, the barriers are also considered safer than the traditional barrier and are lighter, on account of the materials being used. Each of the new barriers includes 33 kilos of recycled rubber.

In order to test the barriers in use, a concrete barrier is covered with a mixed rubber and plastic layer. Secondly, a concrete barrier where chips made of recycled tyres will partially substitute conventional concrete aggregates. Finally, in order to evaluate the environmental benefits obtained, a Life Cycle Analysis study will be carried out for the developed products.

The last phase of the project, co-funded by the EU Life + program, which has had a budget of 1.9 million euro, a demonstration in real conditions is required to see “how the barriers behave over time”, and the stretch of motorway in Madrid is the site chosen to that end, as “thousands” of vehicles use the route on a regular basis.

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