Throughout the United States, there are 80 million tons of asphalt that are recycled every year. With the new freeway work and expansions in the state, the Arizona Department of Transportation have big plans to use old pavements from interstate 10 in order to build new eastbound lanes.
ADOT details how this will not only help the department save money and time, but will decrease the environmental impact. During normal construction by ADOT, materials are generally moved over a mile away from the construction site. On a recent project, materials from a torn-up stretch of highway that spanned 4 miles between Eloy to Picacho, was moved only 200 yards offsite. ADOT utilizes pointed cylinders and other tools in order to break up the asphalt, concrete, and dirt, and mix it together for the foundation of the new lanes.
Tom Herrman, a spokesman, says that ADOT is using the old material for the new eastbound lanes in order to save time, money, not add any materials to landfills, and to preserve the beauty of Arizona. ADOT is also recycling 30,000 feet of guard rails from the Picacho site.
This stretch of the interstate 10 was built in the mid-1960s. Kamil Koulash, a professor at Arizona State’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment says recycling materials can be very effective. Kaloush notes that this project will help in “…saving in money, saving in energy, cost, fuel, and of course the impact on the environment….”.
The westbound lanes were replaced by ADOT last year, and the construction of the eastbound lanes is expected to finish in the fall.