New rubberized asphalt being laid on the I-17

- The northbound lanes of Interstate 17 in Phoenix will close between Glendale and Dunlap from 10:00 p.m. on Friday, until 5:00 a.m. on Monday, due to roadwork that includes the laying of a new layer of rubberized asphalt. 

For over two decades, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) have been using user tires to pave highways around the state, which makes for a smoother ride, and saves thousands of tires from ending up in a landfill.

"We did make a decision to work with the regional authority to say, 'let's put rubberized asphalt or at least an overlay on most of the Valley freeways,' and that's where we are today," said Doug Nintzel with ADOT.

The key ingredient of the rubberized asphalt is crumb rubber that, according to Nintzel, has the consistency of coffee. Contractors, Nintzel said, would purchase the crumb rubber to make the asphalt mix. The process of making rubberized asphalt begins with recycling old tires, and turning them into crumb rubber. From then on, the crumb rubber is blended with hot asphalt, and paved.

"That's what we're doing out on I-17 right now," said Nintzel. He went on to say the last time rubberized asphalt was laid on I-17 was back in the 2000s.

"This particular overlay has lasted more than 15 years, which is really good because we try to get at least 10 years out of any particular overlay with rubberized asphalt."

Nintzel said there are many benefits of using rubberized asphalt, as the road will be smoother, which will be better for vehicles, and reduces noise. in addition, Nintzel says rubberized asphalt are more cost-efficient.

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