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UW-Madison uses green approach to Linden Drive paving project

August 12, 2010 By

On Friday morning, Aug. 13, weather permitting, a 900-foot long section of Linden Drive between Babcock Hall and the UW–Madison Horse Barn will be going green.

It is the first major test of a new environmentally friendly asphalt on the campus, according to Chris Velie, an engineering specialist at Facilities Planning and Management.

The area affected will be closed to traffic starting at 9 a.m. and then the 28,000 square feet of roadway will be paved with a warm mix of rubberized asphalt that will provide greater flexibility and last longer than common asphalts do.

Velie says the new asphalt will cost about $3,000 more than common asphalt, but it will be well worth it.

“Instead of having to heat the standard asphalt to 320 degrees, the warm mix only has to be heated to 250 degrees,” says Velie. “It saves energy and fuel and uses recycled tires. The rubber gets tackier and provides more flexibility.”

Velie says the flexibility factor will give the pavement a longer life, keep it from getting brittle and cracking like most common asphalts do, and allow it to heal itself by bonding together.

The new asphalt should have a life of five to six years before it needs maintenance, compared to two to three years for standard pavement. It is anticipated that the new product will cut maintenance costs in half.

A similar mix has been used on a much smaller scale in surface parking lots and on Charter Street.

The paving will begin at 7:30 a.m. and should be completed by mid-afternoon.

Velie and contractor David Strassman of DRS Limited will be available to the media at 10 a.m. to discuss the advantages of the new green paving option and answer questions. In the event of rain, the paving will be rescheduled for Monday, Aug. 16.