Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Reusing and recycling leads to low-cost improvements on SR 508

By Tamara Greenwell

Supporting and implementing sustainable transportation ideas is a vital part of our planning and work. Whether it’s revising our vegetation control methods to a more natural approach, installing energy-efficient LED lights on state highways or helping support the use of electric vehicles, we’re always looking for methods that support the economy, preserve the environment and enhance quality of life.

In Morton in Lewis County, sustainable transportation literally paved the way to improved mobility, access and safety for users of State Route 508.

Our maintenance crews in that area identified an innovative approach to widen the shoulder along sections of the highway at a fraction of typical costs. Reusing asphalt grindings from previous paving jobs in the area, crews built an extended 6-foot-wide shoulder along the highway.

Prior to installation, people walked, rode a bike or used a wheelchair to get to and from their destination on the small shoulder of the highway, which was only about 1 foot wide in some sections. The wider shoulder is a cost-effective approach to providing travelers with a safe, sustainable and integrated multimodal transportation system for people of all abilities. Meanwhile, using recycled materials reduces greenhouse gas emissions, energy and cost.
By reusing asphalt grindings from previous paving jobs in the area, our maintenance
 crews constructed an extended 6-foot-wide shoulder along SR 508 in Morton.

To extend the useful life of the highway modification, an additional $40,000 was provided to install a top layer of asphalt on top of the exposed compact grindings, and the total cost for the project came in at about $50,000. Travelers are thankful for the creative approach of reusing asphalt grindings, especially when visibility is limited because of dark, rainy Pacific Northwest nights.

1 comment:

Angela van Eysinga said...

Wonderful to see everyone being creative and recycling. This was a good use of the extra asphalt that usually just gets dumped on the side of the road.

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