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Alberta paves roads with recycled tires

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Alberta continues to lead the way when it comes to paving roads using the asphalt rubber created...


EDMONTON, Alta. — Alberta continues to lead the way when it comes to paving roads using the asphalt rubber created from recycled tires.

This year 100,000 recycled tires are being used to pave a further 30 kilometres of the province’s roads. It’s part of a pilot project that started in 2002 to determine if asphalt rubber is a viable road construction material.

Currently, Alberta is the only Canadian province to use asphalt rubber on its highways. The product is a combination of traditional asphalt cement, recycled tire crumb and aggregate. Several other countries have used the material over the past 15 years. For instance, California and Arizona routinely use the product on their highways and have reported the asphalt rubber has a longer life than traditional asphalt while also requiring less repair work as it has greater resistance to cracking and rutting.

Also, the rubber crumb reportedly provides better traction, costs less to maintain and reduces road noise. Alberta too, has found a significant reduction in road noise, however, because of the province’s harsh winters it has yet to determine whether the product is an ideal solution here.

The asphalt rubber program is one of many the province has employed to find a use for the more than 30 million scrap tires that have been recycled in the province since 1993. This project has seen more than 50 kilometres of road paved with asphalt rubber to date.


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