COLAS unveils the first traffic-bearing solar road in the US

An 18-mile stretch of American Interstate 85 in southwestern Georgia, named the Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway, or “The Ray,” is being built as living laboratory helping advance the ideas that a highway can do even more provide us with a means for transportation.

The new Wattway installation on the Ray is a solar generating paving surface that will help generate power along the roadway.

The website forconstructionpros.com reports that drivers crossing the border from Alabama will see photovoltaic arrays rising above a rest stop, part of a sustainable electric vehicle charging station along the roadway.

“Drivers will also see solar paving material underfoot. Wattway solar panels are thin, heavy-duty, skid resistant PV pavers that can be applied directly over existing pavement, eliminating the need to remodel or build new road infrastructures,” it says.

The Ray, Georgia DOT and international technology partner COLAS, unveiled the first traffic-bearing solar road in the country with the installation of a 50 square meter section, the first of its kind outside of France. The clean energy generated by Wattway at this site will help to power the Georgia visitor center as a demonstration project for a technology that has, as the report puts it, “potential to help reshape the future of transportation at a global level.”

It says in the next few years, the addition of more solar panels, sustainable landscaping and Internet of Things technology will make this a smart, sustainable—and most important to its backers, revenue-generating—road to a greener future.

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