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The first carbon negative road in the Netherlands

On 1 November, the first CO2 negative road in the Netherlands was opened, located on the N211 between Poeldijk and The Hague over a length of 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles).

CO2 negative means that more CO2 is compensated than is generated during construction and use. The road contains 21 visible and invisible innovations that reduce the amount of carbon dioxide generated.

Visible innovations include dimming the lighting 50 per cent if there is hardly any traffic, wooden bus shelters and lampposts rather than aluminium, bamboo traffic signs, solar panels, and chargers for phones and e-bikes.

An invisible solution is the asphalt, which is heated to 110 degrees Celsius, rather than the more common 170 degrees Celsius, saving 30 per cent energy. The foundation of the road, below the asphalt, is made from crushed concrete demolition debris of a former dam wall. Additionally, heat generated by traffic and the sun is stored underground and reused to heat greenhouses and offices in the area.

The N211 is the busiest provincial road in the Netherlands, used by about 70,000 vehicles per day. Parallel to the road is a bicycle path, with solar panels integrated in the road surface.

Next, the province of North Holland, in which the N211 is located, plans to renew the N470 near Delft in a similar fashion.

Photo: Dennis van Schie (via