Russia creates 'smart' roads without ruts, puddles and dust

Archipelago 2121 startup MOSTOVAYA 2.0 is developing a technology that could replace asphalt and paving slabs.

Online PR News – 03-September-2021 – Moscow, Russia – Archipelago 2121 Russian startup MOSTOVAYA 2.0 is developing a technology that could soon replace asphalt and paving slabs. It is a self-cleaning, natural-looking pavement with the ability to embed engineering, that can be laid without heavy machinery and almost all year round. The surface is ice-, puddle- and dust-resistant, making cities less dusty and safer.
The main constituents of the pavement are pebbles, river sift, tumbled stone and agglomerated plastic debris. The surface layer is made up of small fractions and is smoothed out during laying so that the pebbles lay more densely. The smoothness of the surface exceeds the requirements of GOST (All Union State Standard), the authors of the project say. Bitumen, asphalt and concrete are not used at all, so the pavement has an ultra-low carbon footprint.

Self-cleaning of the MOSTOVAYA 2.0 pavement is carried out as follows: dust and sediment are first deposited on the road and then quickly washed away and run off between the stones into the drainage system. The drainage system makes it almost impossible for it to clog.

Utility and electrical lines, heating, lighting, alarms, micro-generation of electricity, vehicle detection sensors and other smart equipment can also be built into the smart pavement.

For the time being, MOSTOVAYA 2.0 can be used on pavements, playgrounds, cycle and hiking paths and other low-impact surfaces. For example, on steps, ramps, as the pavement surface has anti-slip properties. Roads are also a prospective application of the technology once R&D is completed.

Developers admit that so far, smart pavement costs are on average 15–30% more expensive than asphalt and 5–20% more expensive than tile. However, they are working on lowering the price and plan to equalise the price with traditional pavements.

Economic feasibility will manifest itself from a comprehensive perspective. Easier and quicker preparatory work, laying without the use of heavy machinery, a quick and cheap way of repair. A few people can repair 150–300 square metres per shift without heavy equipment. Pavement ruptures caused by ice (autumn-spring potholes and cracks) are also avoided, so the materials are more expensive, and in combination with installation, operation and repair costs are considerably lower. How much more exactly will be calculated during the R&D and pilot phase.