New expressway on an old road - the first section of its kind in Poland

News date: September 24, 2021
New expressway on an old road - the first section of its kind in Poland

Budimex is a company that cares about the environment and the efficient utilisation of natural resources. It has been investing and involved in the reduction of its carbon footprint during construction works for many years. One of the actions supporting the circular economy is the proper use of asphalt millings in the manufacture of asphalt mixtures.


The execution of the S3 expressway project in the Zachodniopomorskie Province, the first section in Poland of an expressway was created in which 15% of recycled crushed asphalt was added to the top layer, i.e. the wearing course. “When the S3 expressway, Miękowo — Rzęśnica junction part 2, was executed, a 400 m section was constructed using an SMA mixture and 15% of cold recycled crushed asphalt. The construction of this section was preceded by a thorough technical analysis, arranged between the employer and the engineer,” said Ewelina Karp-Kręglicka, Purchasing, Quality and Environmental Office Director at Budimex S.A.


To construct this section, a significant role was also played by the Zachodniopomorskie branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) that, upon prior thorough analysis with the Contract Engineer for process-related issues, allowed the construction of a new section using this technology.


Łukasz Bargenda, laboratory set director, said: “Budimex has vast experience pertaining to the use of asphalt millings in asphalt mixtures. We have been constantly working on our mixtures to ensure they are of top quality and ensure the best performance. In this case, before laying the SMA layer with recycled crushed asphalt, analyses of the sources of high-quality asphalt millings were carried out, components were tested, and a formula was developed by Budimex laboratories in which asphalt millings taken selectively from another S3 expressway section were ultimately used.” Maciej Nic, laboratory director, added that: “It is interesting that the milled section of this expressway was constructed a few years ago by Budimex as well.”


Asphalt mixture tests performed in Budimex laboratories and by GDDKiA laboratory proved that the parameters of the layer were correct.


Execution of this section was the continuation of works using asphalt millings. One of the previous test projects was InnGa, in which recycled crushed asphalt was used in asphalt mixtures in quantities exceeding the currently permitted quantities provided in the technical documentation. The program ended in success and proved that the utilisation of a good-quality recycled crushed asphalt in increased quantities gives positive results.


Budimex is the leading company in terms of the construction of road payments using recycled crushed asphalt, which supports zero waste actions on construction sites. “We can boast of constructing numerous sections where this green solution was successfully applied. Employees of Budimex laboratories and the Equipment Service Department are actively engaged in re-using asphalt millings in asphalt mixtures. We seek the most beneficial technological and legal solutions for the company and the environment that allow this recycled material to be widely used. Note that pursuant to the Act on Waste, asphalt millings are classified as waste and according to WT-2 technical requirements they cannot be used in the wearing course,” Ewelina Karp-Kręglicka added.


Marcin Hauke, director of the asphalt plant unit at Budimex responsible for manufacturing of asphalt mixtures, said: “Budimex sets an objective for itself to construct bituminous pavements based on top quality standards taking into account the protection of natural resources and general environmental protection in the entire construction process. Our experience in this respect allows the successful execution of even the most technologically complex projects, thus paying the way for the entire industry in Poland. Unfortunately an issue that remains unsolved is the Polish legislation that classifies recycled asphalt millings as waste. We hope that when a regulation removing the asphalt millings’ waste status is introduced, the possibilities to use this material for road construction will be improved.”


Maciej Nic, director of the laboratory suite at Budimex, added: ”Currently the road is monitored for quality and performance parameters, such as smoothness, macro-texture and transverse evenness. The existing results show that the section made so far meets the highest standards set for the wearing course. We reckon that our positive experience will enable us to apply such green solutions on Polish roads in an increasingly bold and extensive manner.


Budimex plans to place asphalt pavements using recycled materials in all layers to the highest possible extent and to involve in further research and testing projects, defining a new standard for highways (A-type) and expressways (S-type).