Rubber roads first piqued our interest when we learned that simply adding recycled tires to an asphalt mixture increases road durability, extending the life of the pavement by 15 to 20 percent and reducing maintenance needs over the life of the road, such as filling cracks. Reducing maintenance needs is an important target because it limits time Georgia DOT employees have to spend working on dangerous, high-speed interstates. Other benefits include reduced road noise and improved water management. The rubber in the asphalt binder is song and resilient enough to use semi-porous or more porous pavements, where the rock in the pavement is fitted more loosely together, allowing water to drain through the pavement and off the sides of the highway. This keeps water from pooling on the surface of the highway during rains toms where it can cause splashback onto cars; windshields, obscuring drivers’ view and causing vehicle to hydroplane. Reusing scrap tires can also help control public health dangers related to tire dumps, like tire fires and breeding groups for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
ALONG THE RAY
In Mach, 2018, The Ray, Troup County & C.W. Matthews partnered to pave the new Tom Hall Parkway that runs adjacent to The Ray with a rubberized asphalt mix. The project used over 32,000 pounds of recycled tire rubber (RTR) in the top layer or “wearing course” of the road, which represents the rubber taken from over 2,500 end of life passenger tires.
Thirteen miles of The Ray are due for repaving in 2019. We are working closely with GDOT and with our industry partners, Liberty Tire Recycling,to create the best opportunity for using scrap tires to resurface The Ray, just like Tom Hall Parkway. If we succeed, more than 50,000 scrap tires will up-cycle into The Ray, and our interstate will be quieter, longer-lasting and more durable – even as global warming makes our weather hotter and wetter. Paving with rubber on The Ray will also demonstrate in real-time that we have the tools and the common sense today to make our roads safer, even in the pouring rain.
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