Washington, DC – The Recycled Rubber Coalition (RRC) released its policy primer on rubber-modified asphalt (RMA), an asphalt mixture that blends crumb rubber with traditional asphalt materials. The primer details what rubber-modified asphalt is, where it is currently used, and its benefits for road construction.
As states continue receiving and distributing funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which invests $110 billion in surface transportation infrastructure, local policymakers have the opportunity to create long-lasting, sustainable infrastructure. Using money allocated by the BIL on RMA would enable states to get the most out of these funds given it reduces rutting and cracking and provides life-cycle savings of over 40 percent compared to traditional asphalt.
“Rubber-modified asphalt is a win-win-win. Local governments win by making taxpayer dollars go further, the environment wins by reducing emissions and keeping scrap tires out of landfills, and drivers win with smoother, quieter roads,” said coalition spokesperson Stratton Kirton.
At least 32 states and many other countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom already use or plan to use rubber-modified asphalt. States have the opportunity to make their infrastructure dollars go further by expanding the use of RMA while tackling other pressing challenges. In addition to lifecycle cost savings, RMA reduces road-related CO2 emissions by over 30%, noise by 1-10 decibels, and enables better grip by decreasing road spray in inclement weather.
RMA’s benefits led the National Lieutenant Governors Association to endorse its use, noting “these benefits demonstrate the lifecycle impacts of the use of rubber-modified asphalt as a sustainable, innovative pavement material which serves motorists, neighborhoods, state departments of transportation, and the environment.”
Innovative uses of recycled rubber, like RMA, have made America a global leader in rubber recycling and secondary use while helping eliminate more than a billion scrap tires stockpiled around the country. Today, nearly three-quarters of scrap tires in the U.S. are either recycled or find a secondary use.
A full version of the policy primer is available on the RRC website.