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Cool Pavement Project could lead to less carbon emissions, cooler roadway temperatures

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:24 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A pilot project is working to beat the heat and create sustainability on Tucson’s roadways.

The Department of Transportation and Mobility and the University of Arizona are teaming up to collect data on the performance of cool pavements. The cool pavement application is a PlusTI asphalt rejuvenator treatment that DTM Sustainability Coordinator Paul Rosenboom said works as a “sunscreen for the roadways.”

“It’s an emulsion that’s a rejuvenator for the existing asphalt. What it does, is it reduces the heat by the reflection of the product, which is titanium dioxide,” Rosenboom said.

Data was collected in October, before the application on Country Club Road between Broadway Boulevard and Aviation Parkway on Dec. 15.

Rosenboom said the treatment has numerous benefits such as sustainability, quick water displacement to get rid of excess water during monsoon storms and cooler asphalt temperatures for vehicles and cyclists. He said up to 60% of carbon emissions could be neutralized from the application, which coincides with Mayor Regina Romero’s Emergency Climate Action Plan.

“With the reduction, it not only makes it pleasant to drive but your asphalt is going to last longer, as seen in other cities,” Rosenboom said. “This last summer there was extreme heat, cracking of asphalt and buckling of roadways. We don’t see it so much in Tucson but this will benefit even more to have this product on our roadways.”

Crews will be back in May to compare data. If the application is successful, Rosenboom said the city will look at applying the rejuvenator to other roadways across Tucson.

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