Pennsylvania pilot project to pave roadway with recycled plastic

The project includes two quarter-mile roadway stretches surfaced with an asphalt/recycled-plastic mix

October 14, 2021 / 1 minute read
Pennsylvania pilot project to pave roadway with recycled plastic
Image: PennDOT

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), along with other state agencies, this week highlighted a pilot project to pave part of a Ridley Creek State Park roadway with an asphalt and recycled plastic mixture.

The project, coordinated through PennDOT's Strategic Recycling Program which is funded through the state's Department of Environmental Protection, includes two quarter-mile roadway stretches surfaced with an asphalt/recycled-plastic mix. The material is intended to strengthen the roadway surface without leaching plastic material into the surrounding environment, according to a PennDOT press release.

"Transportation is integral in our communities and we are always evolving our operations," PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser said in a statement. "We are very pleased when we can pursue innovations bringing benefits to the public, our transportation assets, and our environment."

PennDOT says the material being tested supports interagency goals to increase sustainability in operations while supporting deployment in the state overall. Potential benefits include extended useful life of asphalt pavements; diverting waste plastics from landfills and helping to establish a viable market for these plastics; and continued ability to reuse asphalt millings in future recycled-asphalt pavement applications.

The pilot is incorporated into a 1.5-mile reconstruction project within the park from the entrance to Pavilion 14. The rest of the roadway is being paved with a standard asphalt mixture to provide a comparison for the new material over the five-year evaluation period.

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SOURCE: Pennsylvania DOT

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