Road RepairThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery will divide up roughly $2.3 million in funds between twenty communities in the state.

These communities have been approved for road repair funds under The Rubberized Pavement Grant Program.

Material from recycled tires will be used in all of these repair projects. Old tires are one of the most recycled parts of automobiles, though they certainly are not the only parts that get recycled. Recycling tires and other automobile components helps remove toxic automobile components from the waste stream. This helps make the automotive industry both more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.

Every year, California generates approximately 45 million waste tires. The state typically recycles about 68 percent of them. This does double duty. By recycling the tires, they are removed from the waste stream and returned to uses beneficial to society.

Rubberized Pavement

Rubberized pavement is a material that combines ground up tire rubber with other paving materials. The result is a road surface that last longer, is quieter, safer and more cost effective than traditional black top.

There are two different types of road repair projects funded by The Rubberized Pavement Grant Program. The first is the Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC) and the second is Rubberized Chip Seal.

The use of Rubberized Asphalt Concrete in California goes back to the 1970s. Every lane mile of RAC incorporates around 2,000 recycled tires. It is and excellent surface option for high traffic areas. Typically, following proper preparation of the roadway in question, it gets applied as a 2-inch overlay to the existing road.

In contrast, Rubberized Chip Seal is better suited to low-traffic roadways. On the up side, it is less expensive than Rubberized Asphalt Concrete. Rubberized asphalt binder is applied to existing pavement. Afterwards, a layer of aggregate chips is applied on top. It is most effective as a new surface on a roadway with no notable problems that merely needs to be resurfaced. Every lane mile of rubberized chip seal uses around 500 recycled waste tires.

Each of the twenty communities awarded grant money was either approved for RAC or chip seal. Here are the twenty communities, broken down by which type of award they got.

Communities Granted RAC Awards

  • City of Agoura Hills: $14,216
  • City of Bell $50,000
  • City of Carlsbad $191,240
  • City of Ceres $149,954
  • City of Commerce $281,400
  • City of Cypress $20,340
  • City of Jurupa Valley $28,000
  • City of La Canada Flintridge $37,821
  • City of National City $252,882
  • City of Orange $109,320
  • City of Ontario $350,000
  • City of Palo Alto $88,200
  • City of Turlock $81,704
  • City of West Covina $58,500
  • Town of Moraga $53,774

Communities Granted Chip Seal Awards

  • City of Antioch $350,000
  • City of Morro Bay $90,917
  • City of Pasadena $26,224
  • City of Riverside $70,000
  • County of San Joaquin $53,100

Why Use Rubberize Pavement?

Rubberized pavement is cost effective. In most use cases, rubberized pavement can be applied at half the thickness of other conventional overlays. It also has a lower maintenance cost, further reducing lifetime cost of the material.

It is surprisingly durable, lasting up to 50 percent longer than asphalt and other materials. It is also more crack resistant.

Studies suggest it is both quieter and safer. It reduces the risk of skidding, which can lead to accidents. Due to its ability to retain its dark color better than asphalt, road markings remain more visible. These markings are there for safety reasons. When they remain more highly visible for longer, it has a positive impact on road safety. It also absorbs more sound. This keeps noise pollution down, a concern for many neighborhoods and businesses located near busy traffic corridors.

It is also eco-friendly. As noted above, RAC uses 2,000 waste tires per lane mile and chip seal uses 500. Applications are thinner, thus less material is used in total and some portion of it comes from waste tires that would otherwise go to a landfill.