MARCH 2011

Nevada paves interstate with rubberized asphalt

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) recently announced they will pave a major section of Interstate 15 (I-15) with a rubber paving material.

This material, rubberized asphalt (RA), is a hot mix paving material that utilizes crumb rubber made from waste tires.

The section to utilize the rubber paving material is a high-profile area consisting of both the north- and south-bound lanes of I-15, from the I-95 interchange to Russell Road that parallels the Las Vegas Strip. With the extreme amount of traffic and the close proximity to the strip, noise reduction had to play into the decision by NDOT to use RA. According to the Rubber Pavements Association (RPA), a non-profit industry association that supports the greater use of RA, one of the big benefits of RA is that it helps create a significantly quieter roadway.

It is estimated that the I-15 project will utilize crumb rubber processed from over 100,000 waste tires. This, along with another RA project Clark County is planning, will help to put the 1.5 million waste tires generated annually in southern Nevada to good use.

The movement toward using the sustainable material for paving roads had to do in part with a tire recycling bill sponsored by Nevada State Senator Allison Copening during the 2009 legislative session, which required tire distributors to recycle their waste tires rather than dump in landfills. “In addition to the sustainable aspect of using crumb rubber for road projects, this highway project is desperately needed to help keep Nevadans employed,” stated Copening.