Michigan turns used tires into roads

Michigan turns used tires into roads

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – There are nearly 10 million scrap tires a year. While the tires driving on the roads are still living life, others end up in landfills and pose an environmental threat.

That’s why the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy awarded more than $2 million to help turn tires into roads.

The next time you go out driving, you might not think about what you’re driving on. For some roads, instead of the conventional pavement material, it’s shredded recycled tires. A method called tire-derived aggregate.

“It’s a great material. Tire rubber is some of the highest engineering material available, and to just land field that material is kind of a shame,” said Kirsten Clemens.

Kirsten Clemens is the State’s Scrap Tire Coordinator. The $2 million grant will be distributed to Ingham County and different companies to help build better roads from used scraped tires.

Cobalt Holdings, LLC will receive $573,530 to purchase equipment for processing oversized off-the-road tires and creating the crumb rubber for roads.

Porous Pave will receive $60,000, Michigan Technological University (MTU)-Dixie Highway will receive $418,814 and Michigan Technological University-Midland Road will get $482,549.

“Some of these materials (tire rubber) are actually outlasting by 50%,” said Clemens.

The Ingham County Road Department will use its part of the grant to repair parts of Fitchburg and Parma roads near Leslie. “The project for Ingham is a really interesting use of tire-derived aggregate. That material is actually chunks of tires that they use as a sub-base for an area where the road has a tendency to sink in a swamp,” said Clemens.

The material will help water easily migrate through the road. So next time you get your tires changed, Clemens advises people instead of piling their tires in the backyard, leave them with dealerships and tire shops.

“Scrap tire piles tend to be a great place for mosquitoes to breed. Be a friendly neighbor, and keep those mosquito breeding habitats down,” said Clemens.

The Ingham County Road Department will be using about 5,510 yards of scrap tires as lightweight fill. That’s approximately 250,000 passenger tires. The state hopes you’ll put your tires to good use, protect the environment and help repair the roads you drive on.

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