July 25, 2005

Research partners to test rubber asphalt on Sask highway

The Saskatchewan government has launched an innovative research project with several key partners to examine the potential of crumb rubber asphalt concrete on provincial highways. The material will be tested on a 20-kilometre stretch of Saskatchewan Highway 11, from the south junction of Highway 2 to Chamberlain. The rubber asphalt, which is produced using crumb rubber manufactured from recycled scrap tires, will be applied on the northbound and southbound driving lanes, with conventional asphalt used for the passing lanes and shoulders.

Rubber asphalt concrete offers several benefits, including lower traffic noise, reduced pavement thickness, and longer pavement life versus conventional asphalt concrete. Road construction operations are essentially the same for both types.

In some cases, the reduced thickness and longer life of rubber asphalt concrete makes it economically competitive with conventional materials. Its use also provides a market opportunity for recycled rubber produced in Saskatchewan.

The research project is being carried out as a collaborative effort involving Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation, the University of Regina, the Saskatchewan Scrap Tire Corporation, the city of Regina, the National Research Council and the Prairie Rubber Corporation.

More information is available from Jamie Shanks of the Highways and Transportation department, 306/787-4805, Traci Braaten of the Environment department, 306/787-1611, or on-line at www.highways.gov.sk.ca.

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