Tennessee State Park Trail Paved With Recycled Rubber

A ribbon cutting ceremony last month celebrated the opening of “Tires to Trails”,  a 2.9 mile walking and biking path inside T.O. Fuller State Park in Memphis, made with recycled tire rubber flexible porous pavement.

The project was a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Department of Transportation (TDOT), the City of Memphis, Shelby County and Memphis City Beautiful.

Mars Mineral

Workers cleaned up over 24,000 dumped tires, including passenger, commercial truck and heavy equipment tires. The tires were transported to Patriot Tire Recycling in Bristol, Tennessee and processed into crumb rubber and returned to the park for construction of the trail.

To create the paving mix the crumb rubber was combined onsite with an equal portion of stone and mixed together with a binding agent. The combined mix was poured out on the park’s newly revised trail system which replaces worn cart paths from an old golf course forming a  modern loop trail design.

“The pavement is great for parks. It’s flexible, weather resistant and permeable, preventing water-pooling and run-off,” TDEC officials said.

Project funding for the Tires to Trails project was innovative also, combining grants from both state and federal sources.

The project, which began with collection in 2019, was funded by a Tire Environmental Act Program grant of $250,000 from TDEC, a special litter grant of $200,000 from TDOT, and a Federal Highway-Recreational Trails Program grant of $280,000 from TDEC’s Division of Recreation Resources.

T.O. Fuller State Park was the first state park open for African Americans east of the Mississippi River and is named in honor of Dr. Thomas O. Fuller, a prominent African-American educator, pastor, politician, civic leader, and author.

© Scrap Tire News, July 2022