Are self-healing roads the future?

tarmac road and trees

Published on 21 December 2017 by Robert Drane

Highways England predicts a brand new technology could save £260m a year in road maintenance – if it proves to be successful.

Originally created by Dr Alvaro Garcia from the University of Nottingham, self-healing roads use small capsules of oil to repair cracks within the road. When a road begins to crack, the oil capsules break open and the released oil softens the asphalt. The soft asphalt then naturally sticks back together, removing the crack.

In its Strategic Road Network Initial Report, Highways England said: “This project has been successful in laboratory tests and pilot trials, and will be tested on sections of road during overnight maintenance work, followed by a 12 to 24 month monitoring period.”


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