Enschede is the first: sustainable road maintenance without cement

De Assinkskloosterweg in Enschede will be the first street in the Netherlands to be maintained without asphalt. The road is being renovated in a completely sustainable way, thanks to a new milling method and the use of foam bitumen.

In short:

  • A combination of new techniques and the use of cementless asphalt allows for a unique and sustainable road maintenance method
  • Enschede uses Ecofalt, a material that, unlike asphalt, consists of 95 per cent recycled material

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Producing asphalt produces a lot of CO2 emissions, just like making cement. The municipality of Enschede has therefore started a road maintenance project with a construction team to do something about these emissions. The first project with this fully sustainable road construction method will be realised at the Assinkskloosterweg in Enschede. Alderman Jurgen van Houdt: “The results of this project are promising. We have combined the knowledge, expertise and capabilities of the market. Enschede and its partners are taking the next step towards sustainable road maintenance.”


Many roads in Enschede undergo maintenance every year. The asphalt is replaced because it is worn out. Old materials are removed and disposed of, and new ones replace them. This traditional method produces a lot of CO2. A unique working method was chosen to do something about this. 


The existing asphalt road and foundation are milled through in one on-site operation, and bitumen is added to create a new foundation for the road. This milling technique and stabilising existing asphalt roads is not new. However, the fact that no cement is added as a filling or binding agent is unique. It is being applied for the first time in the Netherlands at this location. 

The new foundation will not be finished with traditional asphalt but with Ecofalt, a sustainable alternative to asphalt. This material is produced without any heat and consists of 95 per cent recycled materials. No gas is used in the production process either. Together, this results in considerably less CO2 emissions. Ecofalt is produced locally, so the main contractor Abbink Boekelo and the municipality of Enschede are making a significant contribution to the innovation and sustainability of the road construction industry.


The new road surface is covered with a layer of olivine as a last step. This is a CO2-eating rock that is used as a wear layer. Using this rock also improves the air quality. The new bricks on the side of roads (driveways, roadsides) no longer contain cement either. 


Innovative and sustainable road maintenance does not just happen. The municipality of Enschede does not only work closely together with Abbink Boekelo Wegenbouw, the main contractor, but also with construction partners Freesmij, Rouwmaat Enschede, BMI Esha and IAT.  

Date: 9 May 2022 |

Author: Maaike Thüss

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