Rubberized asphalt reduces noise, helps environment

Rubberized asphalt reduces noise, helps environment

April 21, 2011

Rubberized asphalt is poured at the north side off-ramp at Loop 101 and Union Hills on March 29.

Driving Valley freeways this time of year?

You might hear about or even experience lane restrictions because of rubberized asphalt paving. “Why,” you ask, “does ADOT schedule rubberized asphalt paving between March and May when so many of us are out and about enjoying the gorgeous weather?”

The answer is that rubberized asphalt is a temperature-sensitive product that can be put down only when the roadway surface is at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit and rising.

Surely this begs a second question: “Why use rubberized asphalt in the first place? What’s the big deal with this stuff?” Well, actually there are several big deals... rubberized asphalt saves money, improves our quality of life and helps preserve the environment.

* Rubberized asphalt is made from a blend of shredded rubber tires, rocks and asphalt. We recycle about 1,500 old rubber tires for every mile of every lane of traffic. For example, on just one 10-mile, six-lane highway we cover 60 “lane miles.” Multiply that by 1,500 old tires and we’ve recycled and re-used 90,000 old tires! That’s 90,000 fewer tires in landfills where they take up excessive space (because they cannot be compacted) and create a fire hazard.

* Rubberized asphalt can also reduce traffic-noise levels by 4 decibels or better. That’s why ADOT uses it on freeways next to residential areas. Over the years, it’s helped ADOT earn accolades for providing quieter freeways for communities across the state.

* Finally, drive on a roadway paved with rubberized asphalt and you’ll notice how smooth it is. Believe it or not, it takes only ½ to 1 inch of rubberized asphalt on the road surface to achieve this benefit. But don’t let its smooth exterior fool you – this stuff is durable, too. Despite millions of vehicles driving on it, a rubberized asphalt surface will last about 10 years. That means fewer dollars spent on replacing worn road surfaces, and that saves everyone time and money.

So the next time you’re delayed or need to take a detour because of rubberized asphalt paving, take a deep breath and remember that the short-term inconvenience has a long-term benefit for every motorist, our communities and our planet.

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