This year, 100,000 recycled tires are being used to pave about 30 kilometres of road in the province with asphalt rubber. The paving is part of a pilot project to determine if asphalt rubber is viable for Alberta, Canada.
Asphalt rubber is made by adding recycled rubber crumb from old tires to asphalt cement, then mixing in gravel to make the pavement. This kind of pavement is regularly used in 10 countries, including the United States.
Benefits of asphalt rubber include:
- less repair work because of greater resistance to cracking and rutting,
- better traction,
- lower maintenance costs, and
- reduced road noise.
Alberta's pilot project began in 2002, and results have shown a significant reduction in road noise. However, results are mixed in the area of cracking and surface condition. Alberta's harsh winters and large number of freeze-thaw days during spring cause considerable stress to the pavement.
Since 1993, 30 million scrap tires have been recycled through Alberta's tire recycling program. Including this year's projects, more than 50 kilometres of road have been paved with asphalt rubber pavement.
For more information on asphalt, click here.