Ministry to use new technology for road repairs

Ministry to use new technology for road repairs

illustration. Landslide on the main route Puncak Bogor, West Java, recently. (ANTARA PHOTO/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Ministry said it would use a new product of technology a mixture of plastic asphalt and plastic rubber for road maintenance in various regions of the country.

PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in a statement here on Thursday the use of the technology is also part of the government`s efforts to do away with plastic waste beside repairing battered roads.

"The program is to help reduce garbage in plastic bags by processing them in a mixture with asphalt," Basuki said.

The country has been said to be second only to China the largest producer of plastic garbage polluting the sea and other water bodies.

Earlier, the Ministry carried out a test on the use of plastic asphalt to plug holes in roads in a number of cities like Jakarta, Bekasi, Denpasar, Makassar and Tangerang.

The Highway (Bina Marga) Directorate General said it hoped to use plastic asphalt for 25 kilometers of roads including 3-kilometer Sipinsur-Bakara road in North Sumatra, expansion of 1.3 km Lawean-Sukapura road in East Java, and three other roads in South Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara.

The PUPR Ministry has placed order for 1,000 units of machines to cut plastic garbage into fine bits. The machines are invented by the technology faculty of the state run Gajahmada University to be mass produced by state-owned manufacturing company PT Barata Indonesia.

The machines would be distributed to the National Road Implementation Centers all over Indonesia to support road maintenance.

Bina Marga Director General Arie Setiadi Moerwanto said plastic asphalt gives a number of advantages - it is harder, does not easily show tire trace after a car runs over it and it is more durable than ordinary asphalt.

This year, the PUPR Ministry will use a mixture of plastic asphalt and rubber asphalt in a bid to diversify the uses of natural rubber.

Indonesia is the world`s second largest producer of natural rubber after Thailand.

Rubber asphalt would be used for the repair of a total of 8.33 km long road in the regency of Musi Rawas in South Sumatra.

Earlier, rubber asphalt was already used for the betterment of road in Lido, Sukabumi, West Java with a rubber content of 7 percent.

Around 4.2 kilograms of rubber are used for a ton of hot mixture with asphalt.