Road between Delft and Zoetermeer ‘most sustainable road’

The N470 provincial road between Delft and Zoetermeer has been transformed into the ‘most sustainable road in the Netherlands’. Various adjustments should result in less CO2 emissions on and through that road.

For example, the renewed N470 has its own ‘sustainable energy supply’ and green roadsides with native flowers. Power for road lighting and traffic lights is generated with 220 solar panels, which are incorporated in a noise barrier at Delfgauw. In order to also be able to use sustainable, locally generated power at night, a large battery has been placed next to the road that stores electricity generated by the sun during the day. The energy system was put into use on Wednesday.

In combination with numerous other sustainable techniques, the road has been made ‘CO2-negative’, claim the province of South Holland, contractor Boskalis and consultancy and engineering firm TAUW. They calculate that all activities emitted around 1,600 tons of CO2. All measures prevent and offset 5,000 tons of emissions.

This profit is not only achieved with our own energy supply. The lighting along the road has also been made more sustainable with energy-efficient LED lamps. When the road is quiet, those lights are dimmed. The road surface is made of asphalt that lowers the rolling resistance of car tires, so that road users use less fuel on the 17-kilometer stretch between Delft and Zoetermeer. Five new asphalt mixtures are also being tested, such as variants with wood fibers and recycled material. The ‘smart’ traffic lights are fitted with sensors. As a result, traffic has to stop and accelerate less often, which, according to Boskalis, saves traffic jams and emissions.

Those involved consider the renewed N470 as a blueprint for greening other roads. “One such road is wonderful, of course, but in order to achieve the climate objectives, successful innovations from this road must become the new standard”, says Ralph van Roessel of TAUW. South Holland ultimately aims to make all roads in the province ‘CO2-negative’.

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