Escondido, CA

Supervisors approve grant application for rubberized roads

Times-Advocate Correspondent

San Diego County has applied for a state Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery grant to fund rubberized paving on county roads.

A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Su­pervisors vote Jan. 6 approved the grant to the department known as CalRecycle, while also approving acceptance of the grant that would fund $4 per ton of rubber­ized asphalt concrete up to $250,000 of the total project costs.

“We like to use rubberized asphalt on resurfacing projects as much as we can because it’s quieter than regular asphalt as cars drive over it,” Fifth District Supervisor Bill Horn said.

In 1993, the State of California banned the disposal of whole tires in landfills, and since then the state has developed pro­grams to increase the recycling of tires. One of those is the rubberized asphalt con­crete resurfacing program, which uses re­cycled tire material.

The programs include grants to cities and counties in California that utilize rub­berized asphalt concrete paving in proj­ects. In addition to the landfill diversion benefits, rubberized asphalt concrete has shown roadway benefits. Although rub­berized asphalt concrete is approximately ten percent more expensive than ordinary asphaltic concrete, the rubberized surface has proven to be more durable than normal asphalt concrete.

Studies in California and Arizona have determined that overall costs for a life-cycle of 20 to 30 years are lower with rubberized asphalt concrete.

“It’s good for the roads,” said Third District Supervisor Dave Roberts. When the County of San Diego used some rub­berized asphalt concrete on a trial basis, the county’s Department of Public Works (DPW) found that the paving was feasible not only in terms of maintenance but also for sound reduction.

Over the long term rubberized asphalt concrete decreases noise by four to six decibels; while the sound reduction is not as significant during the later period of the rubberized paving life-cycle there is still a net reduction of noise. The DPW identifies specific road segments where the use of rubberized asphalt concrete would provide optimum benefit; in addition to focusing on roads currently in need of repaving the benefit is maximized on roads with high traffic volumes that are close to residential streets.

“I’m so pleased to see staff pursuing additional funding for this,” Roberts said. CalRecycle is expected to award grants in February 2016. The county authorization to accept the grants is valid through Janu­ary 2021, and DPW would use the rubber­ized surface for the next round of resurfac­ing projects, which are expected to begin in summer 2016.

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