Fixing potholes and repaving roads consumes a significant portion of a city's budget, but City of San Jose has found a way to save money and reduce their environmental impact at the same by using aggregate recycled on site and applying rubberized asphalt made from old tires. This is allowing the city to stretch its limited budget to pave more roads.
The San Jose Mercury News describes how this process works:
Crews on Monterey Road are ripping out the current pavement, but that's where the old method ends. Instead of trucking the broken-up asphalt to landfills, a train of machinery chews it up four inches deep and recycles every pebble back onto the road.
The impact: More than 1,400 truck trips and about 10,000 tons of material will be saved. And the new road can be driven on almost immediately, even though the job isn't done yet. The final step is adding a two-inch layer of fresh asphalt made from 17,000 recycled tires.
Best yet, the tab: While this project would cost $3.1 million to pave the conventional way, it's $2.4 million this way -- a 23 percent cut in cost.
According to the article, San Jose isn't the only area city that has used this approach, and others are finding similar savings.
Gilroy used the new paving process on Rossi Lane, trimming a $200,000 project by $80,000. Santa Clara County is testing it on a one-mile section of Holsclaw Road at a cost of $350,000 -- at least $100,000 less than projected. Foster City is using the technique on Catamaran, Spinnaker and Cutter streets.
CAW has supported efforts to increase the use of recycled aggregate and used tires in paving projects, including most recently with support for AB 525 (Gordon), which funds projects that use Recycled Asphalt Concrete.