When the rubber meets the road

REGINA — A new project in Saskatchewan is putting new meaning to the expression, when the rubber hits the road.

Crumb rubber asphalt pavement, produced in part from scrap tires, is being used instead of conventional pavement for resurfacing projects in three parts of Saskatchewan. The innovative technology is expected to help divert an estimated 130,000 tires from landfills.

The work will recycle an estimated 1,300 tires per lane per kilometer. Smaller resurfacing projects using similar technology in the Saskatoon area are estimated to recycle about 500 tires per lane per kilometer.

Highway 1 near Maple Creek will have more than 30 km of one lane resurfaced using rubber asphalt, which will recycle about 39,000 tires. The cost of the entire project is about $5 million. Production of aggregate is commencing this year, while paving is expected to follow in 2009.

Highway 2 near Meacham will have almost 6 km resurfaced in each direction using rubber asphalt. This means about 15,600 tires will be recycled because both lanes are being resurfaced. The cost of the entire project is about $1.3 million. Construction began August 26 and is expected to be completed in September.

On Highway 10 near Fort Qu’appelle, about 17 km have been resurfaced in each direction using this innovative mixture. About 44,200 tires have been recycled between the two lanes of this work. The project costs about $3.7 million. Construction began July 2 and finished July 26.

About 64 km of other lanes in the Saskatoon area on Highways 5, 7, 12, 15, 16 and 41 will also use rubber asphalt in smaller resurfacing work called thin lift overlays. The total cost of this maintenance work is about $1.6 million. During these smaller resurfacing projects about 32,000 tires will be recycled. Construction started in August and it is expected to be completed in September.

Scrap tires are collected, processed and recycled through a non-profit, non-government program run by the Saskatchewan Scrap Tire Corporation.

"The biggest success of the Saskatchewan Scrap Tire Corporation has been the diversion of more than 10 million tires from landfills across this province, but there is a secondary benefit when we see the tires recycled into worthwhile projects like this," Saskatchewan Scrap Tire Corporation executive director Theresa McQuoid said. "There are literally hundreds of uses for recycled tires and we are pleased to see more and more innovative uses like rubber asphalt emerging."

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