If our roads aren’t rife with potholes and cracks, they’re being overhauled by maintenance crews. And even when they're repaired, it's typically not more than a season before the cycle of destruction begins anew. Dutch construction firm VolkerWessels wants to end that. It proposes making road modules out of recycled plastic, which would reduce repairs, find a new use for recyclable plastic, and cut back on asphalt's carbon-intensive production. The company says its modules can withstand temperatures from -40 C to 80 C, resist corrosion, and have three-times the life of asphalt. Fabricated elsewhere and trucked to the jobsite, the units can reduce construction time from months to weeks. A horizontal chase in each module could be used to run wiring and piping. So far, Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, has expressed interest in testing out the new technology.  [The Guardian + IEEE Spectrum + VolkerWessels]

A guide for choosing the right glue for the job. [Popular Mechanics]

Who is managing the elaborate design and construction of the growing network of tunnels used by Mexican drug cartels to smuggle goods and people in, out, and around the country? [Curbed]

Hiroshima University
Hiroshima University

Researchers at Hiroshima University, in Japan, developed an ultra-durable, lightweight expanding bridge (shown above) for use in disaster relief. The portable, accordion-style passageway can be used to bring aid relief to communities. [Gizmag]

Autodesk Labs has opened up its Project VUE Viewing file reader for Navisworks to the masses. [Engineering.com]

“I don’t see robots taking away jobs but rather complementing the capabilities and craftsmanship of humans,” says Matthias Kohler, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in this short video on the potential for robo-fabricators in architecture and construction. [Wired]

Want to be waited on by humanoid and dinosaur ‘bots? Check out the newly opened robot-run hotel in Japan. [The Associated Press]