What is Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement?

reclaimed asphalt pavement

Aside from providing a comfortable, quiet ride, asphalt is also incredibly eco-friendly. The asphalt from America’s aging roads, highways, and even parking lots can be reclaimed and reused repeatedly. Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), saves significant landfill space each year and decreases the amount of energy needed to manufacture virgin asphalt, making it one of the most sustainable options for paving new infrastructure.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): “The same materials used to build the original highway system can be reused to repair, reconstruct, and maintain them. Where appropriate, recycling of aggregated and other highway construction materials makes sound economic, environmental, and engineering sense.”

In short, reclaimed asphalt pavement is cost-effective and environmentally friendly, making it an attractive material. The smoothness offered by asphalt, in general, may also afford motorists better fuel economy. Continue reading to learn why municipalities are increasingly choosing to use asphalt mixed with RAP. You’ll also find the importance of recycling old asphalt pavement below.

How RAP is Used

As temperatures in the valley rise, motorists will likely notice an upswing in road construction, because these warm temps ensure the proper curing of new asphalt. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) allows 15 to 25 percent of hot mix asphalt (HMA) to be made up of reclaimed material, according to their website. RAP is created by milling and crushing old asphalt pavement. After it the reclaimed materials have been crushed, they are thoroughly screened, ensuring there are no impurities.

Why Recycle Old Asphalt?

The better question here is: Why not recycle? Recycling old pavement materials reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills. Using RAP also conserves valuable natural resources such as binder and aggregates. These can lead to increased savings for contractors, taxpayers, and government. Reclaimed asphalt pavement may also help create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries. There are three steps to recycling aging or damaged asphalt pavement:

Step #1 – Collection and processing

Step #2 – Using RAP as an additive in HMA

Step #3 – Paving new and maintaining infrastructure with RAP

A woman-owned asphalt and repair services company, L&L Asphalt has been awarded many projects by general contractors and municipalities, even ADOT. Our services include dust abatement management programs, permanent asphalt replacement, street widening, asphalt overlays, and more. Contact us today at (623) 434-1200 for more information on these and other services.

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