City of Tucson continues Cool Pavement project

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:42 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The City of Tucson is continuing to bring cooler, environmentally friendly roads to neighborhoods across the city.

Their latest project was in the Paseo Vista/Vista Del Pueblo area on Tucson’s West side. It’s just the second area to get this treatment.

“We can implement some new technologies such as cool pavement to help preserve some of our newer roadways,” said Amanda Valenzuela with Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility. “To keep them in good condition as well as add to the city’s overall sustainability initiative.”

It begins with the road being covered with treatment, including titanium dioxide.

“That almost acts like a sunscreen that we use when we go outdoors,” said Valenzuela. “There’s a titanium dioxide base that’s sprayed directly onto the roadway and that helps to reflect the sunlight off the surface and less heat absorption as well as reduction in the roadway temperature.”

Valenzuela says these roads can help the city reach its sustainability goal

“It is designed to help mitigate some of the urban heat island effects as well as produce cleaner air by mitigating some of those vehicle emissions that can emit from the roadway.”

This emulsion is good for the environment and successfully helps keep the roadway cool.”

“That helps with pedestrians or cyclists who are on the roadway,” said Valenzuela. “That reflectiveness can help make the pavement feel cooler as they’re walking or biking.”

The project has been going on in Phoenix for some time. In fact, they just marked 100 miles of cool pavement.

During that time, however, they’ve seen some challenges, which are possible here as well.

“Cool pavement is a newer technology. It’s still being tested here in Tucson.”

The price for each project varies, but in the Paseo Vista/Vista Del Pueblo area it cost about $300,000.

Funding came from Proposition 411, which aims to improve streets and neighborhoods across Tucson.

You can learn more about the Cool Pavement Project here.

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