Think of it as where the root beer meets the road. Or maybe life in the Fanta lane?

In an experiment they hope will one day make California’s roads more durable and put a dent in the state’s growing plastic pollution problem, road crews working with Caltrans are repaving a section of highway in Northern California using recycled asphalt held together with thousands of melted plastic bottles.

The project — across three lanes of Highway 162 just east of Oroville in Butte County — represents the first time a state highway in California has been repaved using 100% recycled materials.

“We are always looking for innovative solutions,” said Caltrans spokesman Gilbert Mohtes-Chan. “This is something we are exploring to see what the potential is.”

Crews are putting the material over 1,000 feet of roadway as part of a larger $3.2 million job to repave about 3 miles of the highway.

Here’s how it works: Caltrans already recycles old pavement in some highway jobs. Workers with heavy machinery scrape 3 to 6 inches of roadway surface and grind up the old asphalt, then mix it with a binding agent made of bitumen, a type of tar-like sludge left over from oil refining.

The problem is, that new …read more

Source:: East Bay – Science


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