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SACRAMENTO–Roadways damaged by wildfire suppression and recovery efforts in two California counties are being repaired with paving material made from recycled tires.
In both Lake County and Calaveras County, roads were damaged by heavy trucks and other equipment as the fires were fought and during the cleanup process afterward. Potholes were filled as part of the debris cleanup process. However, in some areas, roads remained in poor condition. CalRecycle offered to provide further roadway repair through its Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC) grant program.
RAC is made by mixing ground-up used tires with asphalt and other materials. It is then applied, generally as a two-inch “overlay,” to existing roadways that have been graded and prepared for the application. It has proven to be a durable, safe, and quiet surface and has been used successfully on roads throughout California.
“There are so many infrastructure repairs that have to be organized and executed after a devastating wildfire,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “Rubberized asphalt concrete keeps waste tires out of landfills and is an excellent road surfacing material for projects like these.”
In Lake County, 170,063 acres burned in the Valley, Jerusalem, and Rocky Fires last year. This month, nearly 1.8 miles of Gifford Springs Road will be prepared—which includes cleaning, grading, asphalt removal, road base placement, and compaction—and then a RAC overlay will be placed. The project is expected to take about two weeks to complete.
Roadways suffered similar damage in the 70,868-acre Butte Fire in Calaveras County. In August, a smaller RAC repair project was completed that involved about six-tenths of a mile of private roads there.
Each project cost $500,000 and was paid for from CalRecycle’s Tire Recycling Management Fund. More road surface will be repaired in the Lake County project because county workers there will complete all of the road preparation activities, with county funds, before the RAC is applied. Since the Calaveras County project involved private roads, rather than county roads, the $500,000 included both road preparation and the RAC overlay, all of which were conducted by CalRecycle’s contractor.
A two-inch RAC overlay uses about 2,000 scrap tires per lane mile. To date, California has used more than 10 million waste tires in RAC paving projects, diverting them from landfills or illegal disposal. Illegally stockpiled or dumped waste tires provide breeding habitats for disease-carrying mosquitos and other vectors.
See CalRecycle’s Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC) webpage for more details, including information on technical assistance and grant funding.Posted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Oct 31, 2016