The new Genoa motorway bridge, replacing the old Polcevera bridge structure that collapsed on 14th August 2018, was completed just 22 months after the disaster, at the beginning of August, to designs by Genoa born Renzo Piano. The road pavement on the bridge was constructed using Iterchimica's Gipave® asphalt supermodifier, which contains graphene and a specific type of technically-selected plastic which is usually sent to waste-to-energy plants.
Gipave® was developed by Iterchimica with the support of Directa Plus and resulted from a three year research programme with a patent filed in 2017. To date, two trials have been initiated or completed in the UK in Oxfordshire and Kent and eight more were carried out at various sites in Italy.
All tests conducted by universities and official laboratories have shown excellent results in terms of increased pavement performance. The improvement of structural performances will extend the pavement's service life, thus reducing maintenance operations and the related costs. In addition, once laid, asphalt with Gipave® can be 100 per cent recycled, which reduces the emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere and the extraction of new materials from quarries and first-use bitumen. Moreover, this new technology allows the recycling of a specific type of plastic, which would not normally be recycled, usually ending up in a waste-to-energy plant.