Staten Island Opts For Longer Lasting Roads

Tired of the “status quo” potholes and roads that have reached “unacceptable levels of degradation over the years,” Staten Island, NY Borough officials challenged the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) last May to bring “out-of-the-box solutions” to Staten Island roads.

On Oct. 29 Borough President James Oddo and Council members Vincent Ignizio and Steven Matteo watched as NYCDOT crews paved a section of the Island’s Fingerboard Road with three different types of asphalt: traditional asphalt, rubberized asphalt, and a cheaper form of pelletized rubber asphalt to compare how the mixtures weather over the next few months.

Eco Green Equipment

The NYCDOT chose the recycled rubber asphalt mixtures after researching the market for pavement products that would produce roads that are more durable, quieter and offer environmental benefits.

Officials found plenty of “positives to rubberized asphalt,” including a long history of use dating back to the 1960s, current use in 22 states, mostly in the southwest and other areas with warmer climates, but also in New Jersey and Massachusetts with seasonal climates.

Two questions the city hopes to answer in conducting tests of the rubber asphalt pavement are how the rubber will perform in New York’s harsh, varying seasonal climates and how will the cost compare to traditional asphalt.

Rubberized asphalt could cost an extra $10 per ton, compared to traditional asphalt, and the DOT can pave about 700 tons of roadway in Staten Island each day. The city also brought in the Arizona-based company Phoenix Industries to talk with officials about their newly patented rubberized asphalt that comes in pellet form, which is cheaper to produce, ship and implement in city streets.

Borough officials commended the NYCDOT commissioners for keeping their commitment to come up with ideas outside the status quo.

“We’re happy that the DOT heard us because we need our roads to be better,” Borough officials said. “We need to stop wasting resources on simple pothole repairs that open up a week after they’ve been filled.”

The city has “all the ingredients” to bring change to island roads. “We have willing administration, a commissioner that’s trying new things and elected officials that brought them new products,” council member Ignizio said.

NYCDOT plans to monitor the project over three seasons – winter, spring and summer – to see how it all holds up.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently using rubberized asphalt for road repairs on its bridge decks, including the Verrazano.

© Scrap Tire News, December 2014