Will Roads Made Out of Rubber Soon be a Thing in Michigan?
Over the next few years, you may find yourself driving on roads that are made more from rubber than asphalt.
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Roads Made From Old Tires
According to the Lansing State Journal, Michigan state officials have announced a $2 million grant for road projects that will incorporate the use of old tires as a base for select road construction projects.
Right now, the practice is in its infancy, and because it's still considered experimental, using rubber from old tires as a base for roads will be something that's only used on small, local projects. At this point, the practice can't be used for road projects that get federal funding.
M. Emin Kutay is an engineering professor at Michigan State University. He says it will likely take some time for the practice to catch on.
"Typically our paving industry is slow to new things," he said. "They want to see it long-term first."
The Benefits of Rubber Roads
Kutay says experiments from the past decade are showing promise. He notes that paving mixtures that incorporate rubber can produce roads that are quieter and longer lasting. He notes that keeping tires out of landfills is another benefit and adds that roads made with a rubber mixture can maintain a black hue longer than conventional asphalt mixtures.
Rubber Road Already in Use
The Journal reports that Ingham County recently received a grant worth nearly $38,000 which has been used to rebuild about 750 feet of road built on top of a shredded tire base in the County.