At Sacyr, we have just turned another challenge into a success. We have finished the very first stretch of a highway in Spain paved with a sustainable asphalt. To do that we have employed rubber powder from used tires using RARx technology. Additionally, in the CV-35’s expansion (Valencian Community, Spain) we have installed low-consumption lighting with our own technology and have used state-of-the-art machinery.
RARx is a technological and ecological additive, developed and manufactured by CIRTEC, a company owned by Valoriza Medioambiente. 60% of its composition is made from used tire powder and allows for its direct use in the asphalt plant. This results in better roadbed durability and reduction of noise pollution and provides an environmentally friendly solution to unused tires.
“The CV-35 roadway connects the metropolitan area of Valencia to the interior regions of the Serranía and it is a core axis of the Valencia province. Until now, the last 15 km of the CV-35, between the municipalities of Casinos and Losa del Obispo, ran a one-lane stretch. By doubling the lane, we will reduce commute times and improve road safety in this section”, explains David Espeja, manager of concession society AUTURSA (Autovía del Turia, S.A.), which operates the infrastructure under a shadow toll formula through a concession contract with the Generalitat Valenciana.
“The new road has been built in collaboration with Sacyr’s Roadbed Department, using a layer of RARx on the wearing course. This mixture has antifissure properties and increases the roadbed’s durability”, continues Espeja. “With it, we guarantee an optimal performance in management and planning our preservation and maintenance activities in the long term”, finishes Espeja.
The additive, RARx has proven that circular economy is possible and is in fact already been exported to other countries, like Chile, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Indonesia, Russia and the United States and Spanish municipalities like Madrid or Malaga.
This technology, regulated by the Technical Norm NT/ 02/2020 of the MITMA, provides better durability thanks to the additive RARx. Furthermore, it “also entails a great reduction of deadlines”, comments Jaime Merino, construction site manager. “This technology has the advantage of easy application and allows for the use of normal manufacturing and application mediums, like any other mixture”, adds.
New conglomerate plant and pavers
Apart from the novel asphalt mixture, a new plant for conglomerate manufacture and new asphalting machines for paving.
The plant is from INTRAME, model RM-200 and has exceeded 2,000 tons in manufacturing most fabrication days. This has allowed to reduce the initial estimate stay-time on the construction site and guaranteed the completion of the deadline agreed with the client.
The new extending machine is a state-of-the-art VOLVO model 8820D with a double tamper VOLVO VDT 121 that allows to apply the mixture in a 10.5-meter width, avoiding junctions as opposed to using two parallel extending machines and the associated cost increase, as well as a better surface finish and durability.
“This achievement was possible thanks to the collective work of the construction team with the machinery, particularly the manufacturing and application personnel, praised by management for their professionalism and dedication”.
We have obtained a finish in the pavement in terms of IRI (International Roughness Index), an indicator that measures pavement evenness, of an 0.45 average value, an unprecedented milestone in the group. To achieve the required density throughout the entire width, we used twice the compacting equipment, two metal rollers, followed by two wheels tires in the new application machine.
An example of collaboration between divisions
“This achieved milestone is not only important because it is a real example of circular economy application, but also for the collaboration among multiple Sacyr divisions, all of them which played a fundamental role: the concessionaire and long-term operator, Sacyr Concesiones, the constructor, Sacyr Infrastructures and CIRTEC, the RARx manufacturer”, explains Miguel Angel Sanz, responsible of CIRTEC.
Innovation in lighting
To light the highway, we have used LED highway illumination with our own optical design by Sacyr (Iohnic), specifically tailored for this project. In the design and manufacturing process of this road lighting thanks we have implemented polycarbonate lenses that maximize the opening of the light beam, thanks to which we achieve optimal uniformity values that at the same time increase stability and lifetime.
Thus, we improve the flow of light that reaches the roadway, optimizing visibility, safety and users’ comfort.
With Iohnic, we notably reduce the power consumption derived carbon footprint, achieving power savings of more than 60% compared to sodium vapor and between 10 and 15% as opposed to LED-based commercial solutions.