Traffic test underway for crumb rubber asphalt mixes

Image courtesy of ARRB.

Four different crumb rubber asphalt mixes have been laid for a trial on a 1.4 kilometre stretch of road in Melbourne’s south east.

The project, funded by Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) and the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT), will see the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) conduct a two year trial of the asphalt to monitor the performance of the mixes on high traffic roads.

TSA CEO Lina Goodman said Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million used car tyres yearly and around 30 per cent of those end up in landfill or are stockpiled.

“Finding innovative and sustainable ways of using old tyres is vital and crumb rubber asphalt roads are the perfect solution to a waste problem,” she said.

While spray seals incorporating crumb rubber are well used on country roads in Victoria and overseas, the aim of this project is to increase the opportunity for crumb rubber asphalt to be used on high traffic roads.

The trial aligns well with the Victorian Government’s Recycled First policy, which aims to increase the use of recycled materials in construction projects.

ARRB CEO Michael Caltabiano said tyre crumb, when added to an asphalt mix not only assists with the reuse of a waste stream but it can actually add value to the road structure.

“ARRB’s applied research findings show that a crumb rubber asphalt lasts longer, performs better and delivers a better economic outcome for the community,” Mr. Caltabiano said.

The asphalt has been laid throughout March on a 1.4 kilometre section of East Boundary Rd in Bentleigh East, in Melbourne’s south-east. It is on the southbound carriageway, between Centre Road and South Road.

The trial features four different crumb rubber asphalt mixes and two asphalt control sections. Around 1600 car tyres will be used in the trial.

Lab and field testing will be conducted at regular intervals with a final report due by mid 2022.

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