The team behind the upgrade of Plenty Road is waging a war on waste.
Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) and construction partner Decmil have been reusing and repurposing road materials and timber inside the project work site and across the local community, as well as using recycled materials wherever possible.
According to MRPV, the surface of the new road is partially made up of asphalt from old road pavements.
Any material that isn’t up to standard for the construction of the new road is reused in the subbase of shared use paths, the project team said.
MRPV estimates that 13,400 tonnes of material have been recycled to date.
The project team has also used glass recovered from the glass recycling process by crushing it into sand and using it as bedding fill and backfill for drainage pipes, while rock and concrete obtained from construction and demolition sites has been crushed and reprocessed to be used in the new pavements.
Topsoil and mulch removed during construction is being kept aside to be reused during landscaping.
Construction has recently commenced on a new boardwalk connecting Wealthiland Drive to the existing shared user path which is made from recycled plastics, including soft plastics collected by the RedCycle program.
MRPV program director Eric Shegog said reusing, recycling and repurposing materials was a key priority for the Plenty Road upgrade team.
“Wherever possible, construction waste is being reused inside the project work site and outside in the community,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to see these materials getting a second life and benefitting the community in so many different ways.”
According to the project team, an old River Red Gum which was removed as part of the upgrade is now a home for local animals in Whittlesea Park, with logs from the tree now serving as habitat hollows.
Habitat hollow segments were also donated to the Gippsland area where fires decimated fauna habitat early last year.
Native timber has been donated to Epping Scouts, a local men’s shed and the Wurundjeri Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation in Healesville where it will be utilised for cultural practices.
Asphalt removed as part of the project was given to the Growling Grass Frog Golf Course, where it has been used to build access tracks and driveways around the course.
Stage two of the $178.6 million Plenty Road upgrade is expected to be completed in mid-2021.
The second stage includes the duplication of the road between Bush Boulevard, South Morang and Bridge Inn Road, Mernda, as well as upgrades to 12 intersections.