Lake Guntersville Park Installs Roads Made With Recycled Tire Rubber

A $829,080 grant from ADEM to Alabama State Parks helped pay for the repaving

Officials with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) are showcasing newly resurfaced roads and parking areas at Lake Guntersville State Park paved with asphalt made with crumb rubber derived from end of life tires.

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The repaving at the park with rubber asphalt  was paid for in part by a $829,080 grant from ADEM to Alabama State Parks. The money comes from the state’s Scrap Tire Fund which derives revenue from the $1 fee that people pay on each replacement tire sold in Alabama. The Scrap Tire fund is also used to reimburse local governments for the costs of picking up discarded tires along highways and roadsides and cleaning up unauthorized dumpsites.

Guntersville-ribbonAt a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month at Lake Guntersville State Park, ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship said the new pavement is stronger, smoother and will last longer, thanks to its rubber composition.

“We were thrilled with the opportunity to resurface the roads and paved areas of the park with a material that will require less maintenance, hold up better in all kinds of weather conditions and greet park-goers with a more pleasant ride,” Blankenship said. “We are extremely grateful to ADEM for making this money available.”

The grant covered the costs of repaving access roads and parking areas for the lodge and campground store. State Parks put in an additional $500,000 to pave other roads in the park with the special asphalt.

ADEM Director Lance LeFleur said the paving at State Parks is an ideal demonstration project on how discarded tires can be used for beneficial purposes.

The Lake Guntersville paving project involved work done by the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) to design and evaluate mixes with the new Balanced Mix Design Specification (BMD). Based on NCAT’s research and in conjunction with Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), Coffee County, AL paved a county road with two different BMD mixes and an ALDOT Superpave mix in 2020.  The Coffee County project, also funded by an ADEM grant, will evaluate and compare the pavements annually over a six year period.

Studies have shown that asphalt made tire derived crumb rubber lasts up to 50 percent longer, is less prone to potholing and cracking, is quieter and reduces tire wear. Rubber modified asphalt improves fuel mileage because of lower rolling resistance, and is safer due to better traction and reduced misting on wet roads.

Blankenship is sold. He said the parks system plans to use rubber-modified asphalt to repave roads at DeSoto State Park later this year.

© Scrap Tire News, May 2022